Environmental health and toxicology

Genotoxicity evaluation of drinking water sources in human peripheral bloodlymphocytes using the comet assay

WU Yulin , CHEN Haigang , LI Zhaoli , SUN Liwei , QU Mengmeng , LI Mei , KONG Zhiming


Received July 03, 2007,Revised December 05, 2007, Accepted , Available online

Volume 20,2008,Pages 487-491

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The potential harm of organic pollutants in drinking water to human health is widely focused on in the world; more and more pollutants with genotoxic substances are released into the aquatic environment. Water source samples were collected from 7 di erent localities of Nanjing City. The potential genotoxicity of organic extracts from drinking water sources were investigated by means of the comet assay in human peripheral lymphocytes. The results showed that all the organic extracts from all the water source samples could induce DNA damages of human peripheral blood lymphocytes at di erent levels. A significant di erence (P < 0.01) was observed when compared with the solvent control. The DNA damage increased with the increase of the dosage of the original water source. Significant di erences of DNA damage were observed in di erent drinking water sources, as shown by the multiple comparisons analysis at the dosage of 100 ; the degree of DNA damage treated by Hushu waterworks (at town level) was the most serious, the arbitrary units (AU) was 141.62 6.96, however, that of Shangyuanmen waterworks (at city level) was only 109.64 2.97. The analysis also revealed that the genotoxicity of town’s water sources was higher than that of the city. The results demonstrated that the comet assay can be successfully applied to the genotoxicity monitoring programs of drinking water sources.

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