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EISSN: 2313-3724, Print ISSN:2313-626X

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 Volume 4, Issue 12 (December 2017), Pages: 36-41


 Original Research Paper

 Title: DNA damage assessment among urban female street sweepers exposed to vehicular exhaust in metro Manila, Philippines

 Author(s):  Annabella Villarino 1, *, Glenn L. Sia Su 2


 1Biology Department, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Mindanao State University, Marawi, Philippines
 2Department of Biology, College of Art and Sciences, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines

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Occupational exposure to vehicular exhaust in Metro Manila, Philippines is a major human health risk concern because of the established DNA damaging potential of some of its components like Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Hence, in this study, peripheral blood leucocytes of 50 urban female street sweepers and an equal number of housekeepers and housewives were analyzed for DNA damage utilizing the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) or comet assay. This study also determined the influence of some demographic characteristics like age, length of fuel exhaust exposure, smoking and alcohol/coffee/tea drinking on DNA damage. Possible association of DNA damage and hematological parameters to include RBC count, WBC count, hematocrit, hemoglobin, lymphocytes and segmenters was also done. Results showed that exposure to vehicular exhaust has caused an increase in tail lengths (8.48±3.41 μm versus 19.35±8.79 μm) and tail moments (1.93±1.43 versus 8.02±5.71) of the leucocytes as demonstrated by the comet assay. Differences in the demographic characteristics of the study population were not significant (p > 0.05) but comet assay results of the smokers, alcohol/coffee/tea drinkers with longer length of exposure to fuel exhaust recorded higher DNA damage compared to the smokers (p < 0.05), alcohol/coffee/tea drinkers of the reference group. Hematological parameters were not affected by fuel exhaust exposure (p > 0.05). Results of the current study suggests of the possibility that constant exposure to fuel exhaust could lead to a transient increase in the levels of damage in the DNA of leucocytes and that the comet assay was a particularly sensitive technique in detecting such effects. 

 © 2017 The Authors. Published by IASE.

 This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

 Keywords: DNA damage, Comet assay, Fuel exhaust, Peripheral blood leucocytes

 Article History: Received 25 February 2017, Received in revised form 21 September 2017, Accepted 1 October 2017

 Digital Object Identifier:


 Villarino A and Su GLS (2017). DNA damage assessment among urban female street sweepers exposed to vehicular exhaust in metro Manila, Philippines. International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, 4(12): 36-41

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