EMF Health-effects Research

X-rays, microwaves and vinyl chloride monomer: their clastogenic and aneugenic activity, using the micronucleus assay on human lymphocytes.

Fucic A, Garaj-Vrhovac V, Skara M, Dimitrovic B,

Mutat Res 282(4):265-271, 1992

Chromosome aberration assays, sister-chromatid exchange techniques and micronucleus assays are commonly used methods for biomonitoring genetic material damaged by chemical or physical agents. On the other hand, their aneugenic activity, which can lead to hypoploidy and may also be associated with carcinogenesis, has not been thoroughly investigated.

In our study we chose the micronucleus assay with a new mathematical approach to separate clastogenic from aneugenic activity of three well-known mutagens (vinyl chloride monomer, X-rays and microwaves) on the genome of human somatic cells.

The comparison of frequencies of size distribution of micronuclei in the lymphocytes of humans exposed to each of these three mutagens showed that X-rays and microwaves were preferentially clastogens while vinyl chloride monomer showed aneugenic activity as well. Microwaves possess some mutagenic characteristics typical of chemical mutagens.

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