Assessment of genetic effects and pesticide exposure of farmers in NW Greece


The present study aims at evaluating potential genotoxic and cytotoxic effects caused by the occupational exposure of farmers to pesticide mixtures in the Aitoloakarnania Prefecture (Greece). The aforementioned assessment was conducted through in vivo Cytokinesis Block Micronucleus assay (CBMN assay) in peripheral blood lymphocytes, in relation to chemical analysis of pesticide residues in blood samples. The exposure of the farmers’ population studied to different combinations of pesticides induced significant differences in the frequencies of micronuclei (MN) compared to those of the control group. Furthermore, our results indicated a possible clastogenic and aneugenic effect of pesticides on the genetic material of the farmers exposed. Five pesticides (trifluralin, chlorpyriphos methyl, metolachlor, fenthion and dimethoate) and three metabolites (fenthion sulfone, fenthion sulfoxide and 4,4′ DDE) were detected in the 62.5% of blood samples, with mean concentrations ranging from 0.4 ng/ml to 48 ng/ml. Since the farmers studied probably exhibit detectable levels of systematic exposure to the pesticides applied, continuous educational programs focused on the rational and safe use of pesticides, together with implementation of risk communication strategies among farmers are highly recommended.

Authors: Moshou H, Karakitsou A, Yfanti F, Hela D, Vlastos D, Paschalidou AK, Kassomenos P, Petrou I
; Full Source: Environment research. 2020 Apr 20;186:109558. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109558. [Epub ahead of print]