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O6-Alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase activity in student embalmers.
Hayes-RB; Klein-S; Suruda-A; Schulte-P; Boeniger-M; Steward-P; Livingston-GK; Oesch-F
Am J Ind Med 1997 Mar; 31(3):361-365
O6-Alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) activity was assessed in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 23 mortuary science students before and after a 9 week laboratory course in techniques of embalming. The student embalmers were predominantly male and less than 25 years old. Most were nonsmokers and most had previous embalming experience. At the preexposure sampling, baseline AGT activity, used as a measure of DNA repair capacity, tended to be reduced in subjects with a prior history of embalming. AGT activity after completion of the embalming course was decreased in 17 subjects and increased in the remaining six subjects. Among subjects who had done no embalming during the 90 days before study, seven out of eight had decreased AGT activity at completion of the course, while ten of the 15 students with embalming experience showed decreased activity. Because formaldehyde (50000) exposure has been associated with the inhibition of AGT repair, the air concentration of formaldehyde during embalming was measured using personal air monitors and was determined to average about 1.5 parts per million. Subjects with previous embalming experience had higher exposures due to their participation in a larger number of embalmings during the course. The amount of formaldehyde exposure did not appear to correlate with AGT activity. The authors conclude that AGT activity was reduced among students with embalming experience, but that no link to formaldehyde exposure could be made with the data. They note that their study is limited due to the small number of subjects and lack of precise information on prior formaldehyde exposure in subjects with previous embalming experience.
NIOSH-Author; Formaldehydes; DNA-damage; Occupational-exposure; Air-monitoring; Biological-monitoring; Enzyme-activity; Nucleic-acid-repair; Humans; Blood-cells; Author Keywords: formaldehyde; occupational exposure; DNA repair; embalming
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division