Cytogenetic Damage in Female Pakistani Agricultural Workers Exposed to Pesticides

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Bhawalpur is a major cotton-growing area in Pakistan. Cotton picking in Pakistan is carried out by females and as a result of the intensive use of pesticides during the growing season these females are exposed to pesticide residues in the picking season. In the present study, peripheral blood was obtained from 69 cotton pickers and 69 unexposed females and used to assess the effect of pesticide exposure on genetic damage as well as on hepatic enzymes and serum cholinesterase. The subjects were of similar average age in workers and control groups (37.55 ± 12.75 vs. 37.52 ± 13.47, P > 0.05). Average exposure time of the picker females was 10.26 ± 6.14 years. Subjects from the exposed group did not use any protective measures during their work activities. Levels of serum cholinesterase were lower, and levels of alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase were higher in the exposed workers as compared with the control group (P < 0.001). The exposed group exhibited significantly increased frequencies of binucleated cells with micronuclei (12.72 ± 3.48 vs. 4.35 ± 2.44, P < 0.001) and total number of micronuclei in binucleated lymphocytes (16.51 ± 4.27 vs. 5.86 ± 3.09, P < 0.001) in comparison with subjects of the control group. The binucleated cells with micronuclei frequency also seemed to increase with age in both the groups, however, the magnitude of increase was greater in exposed group than the control. Results from the present study indicate that occupational exposure to pesticide mixtures results in cytogenetic damage in exposed females.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles