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Acta toxicológica argentina

On-line version ISSN 1851-3743


HERRERA-PORTUGAL, Crispín et al. DNA damage in women exposed to firewod fuel smoke , in Chiapas, México. Acta toxicol. argent. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.2, pp.56-61. ISSN 1851-3743.

Currently, about a quarter of the Mexican population, between 25 and 28 million people, cook with firewood. However, wood smoke contains a wide range of toxic substances, including carbon monoxide (CO) whose impact on health of the rural population should be studied. Therefore, the potential DNA damage associated with the exposition to CO of 30 women who cooked with wood in Chiapas, Mexico, was assessed using Comet Assay. Results were compared with 30 controls of similar age and socioeconomic status, who cooked with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). We obtained whole blood samples to measure carboxyhemoglobin (% COHb) and perform the comet assay. There was a significant difference (P <0.001) in the percentages of COHb between women who cooked with wood (mean= 6.6%) and those who did it with LPG (mean=1.8%) being 3.6 times higher in the former compared with the latter. There was a significant difference in comet tail length between the two groups examined (mean 18.5 +/- 4.21 versus 5.97 +/- 1.0 μm, P <0.001) and tail moment (mean 4.55 +/- 1.5 versus 1.5 +/- 0.40, P <0.001). The results of this study strongly suggest that exposure to carbon monoxide and compounds present in wood smoke can cause genotoxic damage to women who use this fuel, so it is necessary to implement measures to reduce this exposure.

Keywords : CO; Firewood; Carboxyhemoglobin; Comet assay.

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