Increased levels of oxidative DNA damage in pesticide sprayers in Thessaly Region (Greece). Implications of pesticide exposure
The widespread use of pesticides substances nowadays largely guarantees the protection of crops and people from undesired pests. However, exposure to pesticides was related to a variety of human health effects. The present study was conducted in the region of Thessaly which is characterized by intensive agricultural activities and wide use of pesticides. The study aimed at estimating the oxidative damage to DNA in different subpopulations in Thessaly region (Greece) and investigating its correlation with exposure to pesticides and other potential risk factors. In total, the study involved 80 pesticide sprayers, 85 rural residents and 121 individuals, inhabitants of the city of Larissa. Demographic characteristics, habits, medical history and exposure history of the participants to pesticides were recorded by personal interviews. Blood and urine samples were collected from all participants. For the measurement of exposure to organophosphorus insecticides, dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites were quantified in urine, by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples and the oxidation by-product 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was determined by Enzyme Immuno-Assay. Urinary metabolite concentrations were not associated with 8-OHdG levels but it was found that pesticide sprayers had significantly higher levels of 8-OHdG (p = 0.007) in comparison to the control group. Last season's exposure to insecticides and fungicides, expressed as total area treated multiplied by the number of applications, showed a statistically significant association with the risk of having high 8-OHdG levels [RR: 2.19 (95%CI:1.09-438) and RR: 232 (95% CI:1.16-4.64) respectively]. Additionally, from the subgroups of pesticides examined, seasonal exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides [RR: 2.22 (95% CI:1.07-4.63)] and glufosinate ammonium [RR: 326 (95% CI:1.38-7.69)] was found to have the greater impact on 8-OHdG levels. This study produced findings that support the hypothesis that pesticide exposure is involved in the induction of oxidative damage to DNA and identified chemical groups of pesticides which should be given greater attention in future investigations. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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