Evaluation of genotoxic potential of styrene in furniture workers using unsaturated polyester resins.

Karakaya A., Karahalil B., Yilmazer M., Aygun N., Sardas S., Burgaz S.

Mutation research, vol.392, no.3, pp.261-8, 1997 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 392 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s1383-5718(97)00080-6
  • Journal Name: Mutation research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.261-8
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Styrene is a widely used chemical, mostly in making synthetic rubber, resins, polyesters, plastics and insulators. Increasing attention has been focused on this compound since experiments using cytogenetic end-points have implicated styrene as a potential carcinogen and mutagen. In order to perform biological monitoring of genotoxic exposure to styrene monomer, we evaluated the urinary thioether (UT) excretion, and sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and micronuclei (MN) in peripheral lymphocytes from 53 furniture workers employed in small workplaces where polyester resin lamination processings were done and from 41 matched control subjects. The mean air concentration of styrene in the breathing zone of workers was 30.3 ppm. As a metabolic marker for styrene exposure, mandelic acid + phenylglyoxylic acid was measured in the urine and the mean value was 207 mg/g creatinine. The mean +/- SD value of UT excretions of workers was 4.43 +/- 3.42 mmol SH-/mol creatinine and also mean UT for controls was found to be a 2.75 +/- 1.78 mmol SH-/mol creatinine. The mean +/- SD/cell values of SCE frequency in peripheral lymphocytes from the workers and controls were 6.20 +/- 1.56 and 5.23 +/- 1.23, respectively. The mean +/- SD frequencies (parts per thousand) of MN in the exposed and control groups were 1.98 +/- 0.50 and 2.09 +/- 0.35, respectively. Significant effects of work-related exposure were detected in the UT excretion and SCEs analyzed in peripheral blood lymphocytes (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). The MN frequency in lymphocytes from the styrene-exposed group did not differ from that in the controls (p > 0.05). Effect of smoking, age and duration of exposure on the genotoxicity parameters analyzed were also evaluated. In conclusion, although our data do not demonstrate a dose-response relationship, they do suggest that styrene exposure was evident and that this styrene exposure may contribute to the observed genotoxic damage in furniture workers.