Table 2

Occupational studies by the comet assay

EnvironmentExposureSubjectsaEffect ratiobNotesRef. no.
Airport personnelMotor exhaust34 /111.2 (1.0–1.3)SCE negative, less MN than controls63
Chemical plant1,3-Butadiene19 /191.1 (0.9–1.3)HPRT and MN negative, CA and SCE positive65
CigaretteTobacco dust107 /411.1 (1.0–1.2)59
FarmersPesticides41 /411.0 (0.8–1.3)68
Gasoline station attendantsMotor exhaust (benzene)12 /122.0 (1.2–3.8)No correlation between exposure and effect28
Hair coloristsDyes13 /130.8 (0.5–1.2)SCE and urine mutagenecity (Ames test) negative27
Hospital technicianscIonizing radiation30 /301.1 (1.0–1.2)66
LaminationdStyrene9 /72.9 (0.4–5.8)More DNA adducts in exposed group, HPRT mutation frequency negative77
LaminationStyrene27 /182.0 (1.6–2.4)CA positive, endonuclease III/FPG protocol negative64
LaminationStyrene13 /133.2 (2.0–5.7)More DNA adducts in exposed group, HPRT mutation frequency positive78
Nuclear plantIonizing radiation49 /442.3 (1.6–3.6)Endonuclease III/FPG protocol negative26
NursescAntineoplastic agents30 /301.3 (1.1–1.4)61
Operating room personneleAnesthetic gases66 /412.0 (1.8–2.1)56
Plastic industryVinyl chloride32 /102.5 (1.6–4.4)72
Rubber industryComplex19 /201.1 (0.9–1.3)MN higher in exposed workers, SCE negative24
Rubber tireComplex30 /222.8 (2.3–3.4)Endonuclease III/FPG protocol negative73
Sewage workersWaste matter35 /301.0 (0.7–1.4)75
Shoe workersOrganic solvents34 /191.1 (0.9–1.4)29
Waste workersWaste matter43 /472.0 (1.4–3.1)CA positive, SCE negative22
Wooden furniture workersfWood dust41 /341.3 (1.2–1.4)58
  • a Exposed/control group.

  • b The effect ratio is was calculated using the t distribution (numbers in parentheses are 95% CI).

  • c The DNA damage was scored by arbitrary classification as undamaged, slightly damaged, damaged, and highly damaged cells. We calculated a mean grade of DNA damage for each person by multiplying the number for cells in each class by 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

  • d The median of a subset of cells with highly damaged DNA from laminators was different from that of the control group (P = 0.02, Mann-Whitney U test).

  • e The DNA damage was scored as undamaged, minimal, and extensive. We calculated the mean arbitrary DNA damage by multiplying the number of cells in each group by 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

  • f The DNA damage was scored by an arbitrary classification in five classes. We calculated a mean grade of DNA damage for each person by multiplying the number for cells in each class by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively.