Biological monitoring of workers occupationally exposed to ethylene oxide
Ribeiro, L.R.; Salvadori, D.M.; Rios, A.C.; Costa, S.L.; Tates, A.D.; Törnqvist, M.; Natarajan, A.T.
Mutation Research 313(1): 81-87
ISSN/ISBN: 0027-5107 PMID: 8047079 DOI: 10.1016/0165-1161(94)90035-3
Ethylene oxide (EtO) is an important intermediate industrial chemical which is also used for sterilizing medical products and hospital equipment. In the present study we have evaluated some biological markers, such as chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei and EtO-hemoglobin adducts in the peripheral blood cells, and micronuclei in buccal exfoliated cells of 22 controls and 75 workers employed in an industry in Brazil using EtO as an intermediate. Measurements of EtO in the general area showed that workers were exposed to 2-5 ppm time-weighted average (TWA) for an 8-h working day, during the 3-month sampling. Our results indicate that exposure to EtO resulted in a statistically significant enhancement of chromosomal aberrations (P = 0.01) and of micronuclei in binucleated lymphocytes (P lt 0.001). For the frequencies of micronucleated cells in buccal mucosa there was no statistically significant difference between exposed and control groups. The mean values of hemoglobin adduct (HOEtVal) measurements obtained from a selected group of exposed and unexposed donors were statistically different.