DNA Damage in Bone Marrow and Blood Cells of Mice Exposed to Municipal Sludge Leachates

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Leachates of municipal solid waste from unsecured disposal sites contaminate sources of potable water and affect human health. In the present study, we have used the Comet assay to evaluate the DNA damage in mice exposed to municipal sludge leachates. Ten percent leachates were prepared from municipal sludge obtained from two different disposal drains. Male Swiss albino mice were treated daily with 0.1-0.4 ml of the leachates by oral gavage for 15 days, and the DNA damage was evaluated in bone marrow and blood using Olive tail moment, % tail DNA, and tail length as measures of DNA damage. Physicochemical and metal analysis of the leachates detected the presence of cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc, as well as elevated concentrations of sulfate and nitrate. Both of the leachates produced significant dose-responsive increases in DNA damage in both mouse tissues. There were no significant differences in the responses for any of the Comet endpoints between tissues (for the same leachate sample) or between leachate samples (for the same tissue). The results of this study indicate that municipal waste leachates produce DNA damage in vivo.

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