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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


LONDONO-VELASCO, Elizabeth et al. Evaluation of oxidative and methylating DNA damage in painters occupationally exposed to organic solvents and paints. Biomédica [online]. 2019, vol.39, n.3, pp.464-477. ISSN 0120-4157.


The exposure to organic solvents and paints has been associated with genotoxicity and a greater risk of neoplasms. However, the type of DNA damage induced in humans by the exposure to these compounds, which would help explain the mechanisms of their genotoxicity, is still not fully characterized. Due to inadequate practices of occupational safety, car painters in the informal sector are a highly exposed group to organic solvents and paints.


To identify the oxidative and methylating damage in the DNA of lymphocytes of car painters exposed to organic solvents and paints.

Materials and methods:

Isolated peripheral blood lymphocytes from 62 painters and 62 unexposed subjects were analyzed by the modified high-throughput comet assay with the Fpg and AlkA enzymes. The categories used for the evaluation of the DNA damage were basal damage (without enzymes), oxidative and methylating damage. The measurement parameter used to establish the damage was the percentage of DNA in the tail.


The percentage of DNA in the tail was higher in the exposed group compared to the unexposed group (p<0.05).

In the exposed group, this percentage was higher in the oxidative damage category than the baseline (16.50 vs. 12.87; p<0.001), whereas methylating damage did not show significant differences (14.00 vs. 12.87; p>0.05).


In this study, exposure to organic solvents and paints was associated with an increase in oxidative lesions in the DNA of car painters’ lymphocytes, such as the production of 8-oxodG and other formamidopyrimidine products which are considered highly mutagenic.

Keywords : Occupational exposure; DNA damage, comet assay; DNA-formamidopyrimidine glycosylase; N-glycosyl hydrolases.

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