Cytogenetic evaluation of traffic policemen occupationally exposed to vehicular exhaust.Indian J Med Res. 2009 Nov; 130(5):520-5.IJ
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Automobile exhaust consists of many toxic components and is considered to be a major health concern in urban areas. Traffic policemen are occupationally exposed to vehicular exhaust during the traffic control. Hence, the present study was aimed to evaluate genotoxic effects of vehicular exhaust in traffic policemen in Hyderabad, south India.
Analysis of chromosomal aberrations was carried out in 136 traffic policemen, including 78 non smokers and 58 smokers who were exposed to vehicular exhaust for a period of 1-28 yr. For comparison, 115 healthy males including 69 non smokers and 46 smokers of the same age group and socio-economic status (who were not exposed to any chemical or radiation at their workplace) were studied.
A significant increase (P<0.05) was observed in the mean frequency of chromosomal aberrations in non smoker and smoker traffic policemen (6.48 and 8.96 respectively) when compared to their respective control groups (3.35 and 4.30). According to the age a significant increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations was observed both in control and exposed groups (P<0.05). As the duration of exposure increased in traffic policemen, there was a corresponding increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations.
INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION
Cytogenetic damage was more pronounced in smokers when compared to non smokers. Age and duration of exposure also appear to play a vital role in causing cytogenetic damage. Thus the present study suggests that the induction of cytogenetic damage might be due to the cumulative effect of smoking, age and duration of exposure to vehicular exhaust.