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Logo of bmcorhlBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Oral Health
 
BMC Oral Health. 2012; 12: 6.
Published online Mar 8, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1472-6831-12-6
PMCID: PMC3328270
Micronucleus frequency in children exposed to biomass burning in the Brazilian Legal Amazon region: a control case study
Herbert Ary Sisenando,corresponding author1,5 Silvia Regina Batistuzzo de Medeiros,2 Paulo Artaxo,3 Paulo HN Saldiva,4 and Sandra de Souza Hacon1
1Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública - ENSP, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro CEP: 21041-210, RJ, Brazil
2Departamento de Biologia Celular e Genética, UFRN, Natal CEP: 59072-970, RN, Brazil
3Departamento de Física Aplicada, USP São Paulo CEP: 05508-900, SP, Brazil
4Departamento de Patologia, USP, São Paulo CEP: 01246-903, SP, Brazil
5Departamento de Patologia, UFF, Niterói CEP: 24033-900, RJ, Brazil
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Herbert Ary Sisenando: herbertsisenando/at/yahoo.com.br; Silvia Regina Batistuzzo de Medeiros: sbatistu/at/cb.ufrn.br; Paulo Artaxo: artaxo/at/if.usp.br; Paulo HN Saldiva: pepino/at/usp.br; Sandra de Souza Hacon: sandrahacon/at/gmail.com
Received October 21, 2011; Accepted March 8, 2012.
Abstract
Background
The Amazon represents an area of 61% of Brazilian territory and is undergoing major changes resulting from disorderly economic development, especially the advance of agribusiness. Composition of the atmosphere is controlled by several natural and anthropogenic processes, and emission from biomass burning is one with the major impact on human health. The aim of this study was to evaluate genotoxic potential of air pollutants generated by biomass burning through micronucleus assay in exfoliated buccal cells of schoolchildren in the Brazilian Amazon region.
Methods
The study was conducted during the dry seasons in two regions of the Brazilian Amazon. The assay was carried out on buccal epithelial cells of 574 schoolchildren between 6-16 years old.
Results
The results show a significant difference between micronucleus frequencies in children exposed to biomass burning compared to those in a control area.
Conclusions
The present study demonstrated that in situ biomonitoring using a sensitive and low cost assay (buccal micronucleus assay) may be an important tool for monitoring air quality in remote regions. It is difficult to attribute the increase in micronuclei frequency observed in our study to any specific toxic element integrated in the particulate matters. However, the contribution of the present study lies in the evidence that increased exposure to fine particulate matter generates an increased micronuclei frequency in oral epithelial cells of schoolchildren.
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