Cytogenetic effects of formaldehyde exposure in students of mortuary science.
Suruda-A; Schulte-P; Boeniger-M; Hayes-R; Livingston-K; Stewart-P; Herrick-R; Douthitt-D; Fingerhut-M
9th International symposium on epidemiology in occupational health: book of abstracts. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1992 Sep; :88
The effect of low-level exposure to formaldehyde on oral, nasal, and lymphocyte biological markers was studied prospectively in a group of 29 mortician students who were about to take a course in embalming. During the 85 day study period, the subjects performed an average of 6.9 embalmings and had average cumulative formaldehyde exposures of 14.8 ppm-hours, with an average air concentration of 1.4 ppm during embalming. Since the average time spent embalming was 125 minutes, formaldehyde exposures calculated as an 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) were 0.33 ppm on days when embalmings were done, which was less than the Occupational Safety and Health Administration permissible exposure limit of 1 ppm. Epithelial cells from the buccal area of the mouth showed a 12-fold increase in micronucleus frequency during the study period, from 0.046 + 0.17 pre-exposure to 0.60 :!: 1.27/1000 cells at the end of the course (p<.05). Nasal epithelial micronuclei increased 22%, from 0.41 + 0.52 to 0.50 + 0.67/1000 cells (p=0.26). In blood cells, the frequency of micronucleated lymphocytes increased 28%, from 4.95 + 1.72 to 6.36 :t 2.03/1000 cells (p<.05) while sister chromatid exchanges decreased 7.5% (p<.05). A dose-response relationship was observed between cumulative exposure to formaldehyde and increases in buccal micronuclei in the 22 male subjects but not in the seven female subjects. We conclude that low-level exposure to formaldehyde is associated with cytogenetic changes in epithelial cells of the mouth and in blood lymphocytes. The significance of these changes is unknown. function.
Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Exposure-assessment; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Formaldehydes; Dose-response; Cytology; Cytotoxic-effects; Cytotoxicity; Cytotoxins
EID; DSHEFS; OD
9th International symposium on epidemiology in occupational health: book of abstracts