International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 2007 Feb;17(1):45-51. [Link]

Dönmez-Altuntas H, Baran M, Oymak FS, Hamurcu Z, Imamoğlu N, Ozesmi M, Demirtas H.

Department of Medical Biology, Erciyes University, Mediacal Faculty, Kayseri, Turkey.


Exposure to asbestos minerals has been associated with a wide variety of adverse health effects including lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma, and cancer of other organs. Many of the regions of Turkey have asbestos deposits. People in DoÄŸanli village – one of these regions – have been environmentally exposed to chrysotile asbestos since they were born. In this study the effects of asbestos on micronucleus (MN) frequencies of inhabitants exposed to chrysotile asbestos have been examined. Thirty subjects who had been environmentally exposed to chrysotile asbestos and living in DoÄŸanli village, and 25 controls were studied to assess the MN frequency. The control group was selected from healthy individuals with no exposure to asbestos and living in similar geographic conditions to DoÄŸanli village. Peripheral blood samples were collected from each subject and cultured for MN assay. Cytochalasin-B was added to lymphocyte cultures for evaluation of MN in binucleated (BN) cells. The differences between those exposed to chrysotile asbestos and controls were not statistically significant in terms of BN cells with MN (p > 0.05). There was not a significant relationship between MN frequencies and age, sex, smoking, both in chrysotile asbestos-exposed subjects and in controls (p > 0.05). Although the detection of calcified pleural plaques found in the inhabitants has indicated environmental exposure to chrysotile asbestos, our results show that chrysotile asbestos was not an inducer of MN in subjects exposed to chrysotile asbestos.

Keywords: Calcified pleural plaques; chrysotile asbestos; lymphocytes; malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM); micronucleus (MN)