Chromosome damage in workers in cigarette manufacturing industry

Mirta Milić, Vilena Kašuba, Višnja Oreščanin, Davor Želježić, Nevenka Kopjar, Ružica Rožgaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate whether occupational exposure to tobacco dust is genotoxic, a group of employees in a tobacco factory was tested for structural chromosome aberrations (CA), cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay (CBMN) and sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) that are well established as indicators of early biological effects. The study group consisted of 40 tobacco workers and an equal number of matched controls. The results obtained in the exposed group showed a significant increase in chromosome aberrations (R = 0.26), micronucleus frequency (R = 0.56) and in sister chromatid exchanges (R = 0.75), which was additionally influenced by smoking. A significant increase in high frequency cells (HFC) in the exposed group was also observed. Like the SCE frequency, the HFC frequency increased significantly in smokers of the control and exposed smokers. The study indicates that occupational exposure to tobacco dust induces genome damage. A higher risk was observed in women. The micronucleus frequency and sister chromatid exchange tests seem to be more reliable indicators of genome damage than chromosome aberrations in monitoring chronically exposed subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Biomonitoring
  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • Cigarette manufacturing industry
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Micronucleus assay
  • Sister chromatid exchange
  • Tobacco dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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