Measuring the effects of pesticides on occupationally exposed humans with the comet assay
In this study we examine the effects of a mixture of pesticides on occupationally exposed agricultural workers. The study was performed on 149 people, 84 agricultural workers and 65 healthy men from the same area, who served as the control group. The exposed group was divided into a subgroup with 65 individuals moderately exposed (39 men and 26 women) and a highly exposed subgroup consisted of 19 men. The statistical analysis of the comet assay results showed that there were no significant differences in basal DNA damage between pesticide-exposed workers and the control group nor between moderately and highly exposed ones. In addition, exposure of peripheral blood lymphocytes to hydrogen peroxide or 7-irradiation led to a similar degree of DNA damage and subsequent repair for all the studied populations. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.