Scand J Work Environ Health 1981;7 suppl 4:61-65    pdf

Monitoring genotoxicity in the occupational environment.

by Sorsa M, Falck K, Norppa H, Vainio H

New methods need to be developed for the biological monitoring and health surveillance of workers occupationally exposed to mutagenic and carcinogenic chemicals. Two potential approaches, the assay of urine for mutagenicity and the analysis of chromosomal changes in lymphocytes of workers, are discussed in this report with respect to experience in two occupational environments, the rubber industry and a hospital oncology unit. The urine of workers in the rubber industry has shown significantly increased mutagenic activity after the workweek in comparison to postvacation values. Handling cancer chemotherapeutic drugs in oncology units may cause exposure to the cytostatics, many of which are known mutagens and carcinogens. This exposure can be detected as an increased sister chromatid exchange frequency in cultured lymphocytes.