Assessment of chromosomal aberrations among agricultural workers exposed to pesticides in Punjab, India


Chromosomal aberrations (CAs) are an important tool for assessment of exposure to pesticides. Genotoxic potential of pesticides is a principal risk factor for long-term health effects. The present study was aimed toward the assessment of CAs among agricultural workers exposed to pesticides and comparison with nonagricultural workers not exposed to pesticides. A total of 296 subjects were enrolled in the study: exposed (n = 148) and nonexposed subjects (n = 148) from Punjab. A significantly high frequency of aberrations was seen in peripheral blood lymphocytes of exposed subjects as compared with nonexposed ones. Most CAs were present as loss (aneuploidy) and were observed significantly in subjects having a history of alcohol consumption. It can be, thus, concluded that agricultural workers exposed to a mixture of pesticides, in addition to being alcoholic, are at a greater risk of genotoxic damage. It is highly recommended that the agricultural workers are educated regarding the potential hazards of occupational exposure to pesticides.

Authors: Meenakshi Ahluwalia, Anupam Kaur
; Full Source: Journal of biochemical and molecular toxicology 2020 Oct 13;e22646. doi: 10.1002/jbt.22646.