Cytogenetic changes in human lymphocytes from workers occupationally exposed to high-voltage electromagnetic fields

Khalil, A.M.; Qassem, W.; Amoura, F.

Electro- & Magnetobiology. 12(1): 17-26


DOI: 10.3109/15368379309012859
Accession: 008409847

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The present study was carried out to assess the possible cytogenetic changes in peripheral blood lymphocytes as a means of monitoring human populations subjected to environmental electromagnetic fields. The mean frequencies of chromosome aberrations (CA) and sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE) were determined in 72-h whole blood cultures from 15 workers (mean age 31.4 +- 5.6 years) occupationally exposed to 50 Hz electromagnetic field from a 132-230 kV electric supply substation. Compared to a control group of eight men (mean age 31.6 +- 6.12 years), the percentage of aberrant cells was significantly increased (12.83 +- 1.28% for exposed and 7.00 +- 0.6% for nonexposed). No statistical difference was observed in the mean SCE values between the exposed (5.40 +- 0.15) and the nonexposed (5.12 +- 0.55) groups. Furthermore, the cell proliferation index (CPI) and the mitotic index (MI) were analyzed. The two indices were significantly lower in the exposed group than in the nonexposed one: 1.44 versus 1.60 and 1.45 versus 1.79 for the two indices, respectively. The smoking habit did not influence any of the parameters investigated.