Oxidative stress and DNA damage have been proposed as mechanisms linking pesticide exposure to health effects such as cancer and neurological diseases. A study of pesticide applicators and farmworkers was conducted to examine the relationship between organophosphate pesticide exposure and biomarkers of oxidative stress and DNA damage. Urine samples were analyzed for OP metabolites and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG). Lymphocytes were analyzed for oxidative DNA repair activity and DNA damage (Comet assay), and serum was analyzed for lipid peroxides (i.e., malondialdehyde, MDA). Cellular damage in agricultural workers was validated using lymphocyte cell cultures. Urinary OP metabolites were significantly higher in farmworkers and applicators (p<0.001) when compared to controls. 8-OH-dG levels were 8.5 times and 2.3 times higher in farmworkers or applicators (respectively) than in controls. Serum MDA levels were 4.9 times and 24 times higher in farmworkers or applicators (respectively) than in controls. DNA damage (Comet assay) and oxidative DNA repair were significantly greater in lymphocytes from applicators and farmworkers when compared with controls. Markers of oxidative stress (i.e., increased reactive oxygen species and reduced glutathione levels) and DNA damage were also observed in lymphocyte cell cultures treated with an OP. The findings from these in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that organophosphate pesticides induce oxidative stress and DNA damage in agricultural workers. These biomarkers may be useful for increasing our understanding of the link between pesticides and a number of health effects.
Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-chemicals; Agriculture; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Epidemiology; Biological-monitoring; Urinalysis; Urine-chemistry; Cell-damage; Cell-biology; Cell-metabolism