Examination of various biomarkers measuring genotoxic endpoints from Barcelona airport personnel

M. Pitarque, A. Creus, R. Marcos, J. A. Hughes, D. Anderson

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87 Citations (Scopus)


Three different biomarkers: sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE), micronuclei (MN), and the Comet assay, were used to evaluate different kinds of genetic damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes from 34 male workers at Barcelona airport, exposed to low levels of hydrocarbons and jet fuel derivatives. The control group consisted of 11 unexposed men. We also investigated the ras p21 protein levels in plasma, in order to evaluate whether the ras gene could serve as a suitable potential marker of carcinogenic pollution in occupationally exposed cohorts. SCE and MN analyses failed to detect any statistically significant increase in the airport workers when compared with the controls, and in fact, the frequency of binucleated cells with MN in the exposed group was significantly lower than that obtained in the control. However, slight but significant differences in the mean comet length and genetic damage index were observed between the exposed and control groups when using the Comet assay. There were no statistically significant differences between both groups in p21 plasma levels. Smoking was shown to affect significantly both SCE and high frequency cells (HFC) in the exposed group. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 1999


  • Airport worker
  • Comet assay
  • Micronucleus
  • Ras p21 protein
  • Sister chromatid exchange


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