Assessment of the Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects of Turpentine in Painters


Turpentine is a fluid used mainly as a solvent for thinning oil-based paints, obtained by distilling the resin of coniferous trees. Fine art painters use turpentine on a daily basis. The aim of this study was to investigate the genotoxic effect of turpentine and to determine the lymphocyte proliferation index in the peripheral blood of individuals occupationally exposed to turpentine. For this purpose, the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay (CBMN) was used to determine the total number of micronuclei (MNi), nucleoplasmic bridges (NPB), and nuclear buds (NBUD), as well as the cell proliferation index (CBPI) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of the subjects. Twenty-two subjects exposed to turpentine daily through their work participated in the study and were compared to twenty subjects in the control group. The results showed a significant increase in the number of micronuclei and other genotoxicity parameters, as well as significant cytotoxicity based on CBPI values. In addition, the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of turpentine were found to be time-dependent, i.e., the deleterious effects of turpentine on genetic material increase with prolonged exposure. These results strongly suggest that exposure to turpentine vapors may affect genome stability and that occupational safety measures should be taken when using turpentine.

Authors: Sara Kević Dešić, Barbara Viljetić, Jasenka Wagner
; Full Source: Life (Basel, Switzerland) 2023 Feb 15;13(2):530. doi: 10.3390/life13020530.