Elevated Frequencies of Micronuclei and other Nuclear Abnormalities of Chrome Plating Workers Occupationally Exposed to Hexavalent Chromium


Sellappa Sudha 1 , * , S K Kripa 1 , P Shibily 1 , J Shyn 1

1 Molecular Diagnosis and Drug Discovery Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, School of life Sciences, Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

How to Cite: Sudha S, Kripa S K, Shibily P, Shyn J. Elevated Frequencies of Micronuclei and other Nuclear Abnormalities of Chrome Plating Workers Occupationally Exposed to Hexavalent Chromium, Int J Cancer Manag. 2011 ; 4(3):e80742.


International Journal of Cancer Management: 4 (3); e80742
Published Online: September 30, 2011
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 08, 2011
Accepted: June 30, 2011




Background: Biomonitoring provides a useful tool to estimate the genetic risk from exposure to genotoxic agents. The aim of this study was to assess the potential cytogenetic damage associated with occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium by using micronuclei (MN) as a biomarker.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study and all participants were males. Both the exposed and control individuals were selected from Coimbatore, Southern India. Exfoliated buccal cells from 44 chrome plating workers and 40 age and sex matched control subjects were examined for MN frequency and nuclear abnormalities (NA) other than micronuclei, such as binucleates, broken eggs, karyorrhexis, karyolysis and pyknosis.

Results: Results showed statistically significant difference between chrome plating workers and control groups. MN and NA frequencies in chrome plating workers were significantly higher than those in control groups (p < 0.05) and also significantly related to smoking habit (P < 0.05). A significant difference in NA was observed in workers exposed to chromium for longer duration. In addition to this, a higher degree of NA was observed among smokers.

Conclusion: MN and other NA reflect genetic changes, events associated with carcinogenesis. Therefore the results of this study indicate that chrome plating workers are under risk of significant cytogenetic damage. Therefore, there is a need to educate those who work with heavy metals about the potential hazard of occupational exposure and the importance of using protective measures.


DNA damage Buccal cells Chrome platers Micronucleus test

© 2011, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.


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