ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2006, Vol. 42, No. 6, pp. 613–618. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2006.
The majority of human populations are exposed to a
variety of environmental and/or occupational toxicants.
Most of these agents have shown to have adverse effects
on the human health ranging from headaches, eczema,
respiratory disorders, to serious diseases such as cancer
and congenital malformations [1–3]. Although a vast
amount of biological monitoring has been conducted on
workers engaged in different occupations to explore their
health risks [4–9], little information is available on the
possible genotoxic risk of workers from textile dyeing
plants. Textile dyeing workers can expose to a wide
range of chemicals that are utilized in the working envi-
ronment. The major group of these chemicals is textile
dyes containing many different and heterogeneous
groups of chemicals. In addition to dyes, several chemi-
cals such as bleaching agents, acids, alkalis, and salts are
also used in the whole processing of fabrics.
In the past, a number of epidemiologic studies were
performed to evaluate possible health risks in textile
industry workers. Contact dermatitis, asthma, irritation
of eyes and skin, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis have
been reported diseases among textile workers .
Additionally, some of the studies indicated an increased
bladder cancer for subjects working in dyeing or print-
ing [11–13]. On the other hand, various research groups
evaluated the mutagenic and genotoxic potential of
dyes used for textile dyeing or printing by use of bacte-
rial tests, mammalian cell tests, and animal in vivo
assays. Most of these investigations revealed the
mutagenic and genotoxic effects of many anthraquinone
dyes, sulfur dyes, and azo-dyes [14–20]. Furthermore, a
number of studies have demonstrated the mutagenic
activity in efﬂuents and wastes from textile and dye-
related industries [21–23]. However, only one literature
reference is available for the genotoxic risks of textile
dyeing workers , in which a signiﬁcant cytogenetic
damage have been reported for dyers from India.
The Kahramanmaras province, located in the east
Mediterranean region of Turkey, has seen a rise in the
industrial sector in the last decade. In Kahramanmaras,
yarn and textile mills represent an important economic
sector. There are about 150 textile factories in the Kahr-
amanmaras, most of which have textile dyeing plants.
The workers in the dyeing plants are exposed to a wide
range of chemical groups utilized in these plants during
the textile dyeing processes with no control over the
frequency and length of exposure. Hence, their expo-
sure pattern is very complex.
In the present study, the genotoxic risk of dyers was
evaluated by means of SCE and CA assays in periph-
eral blood lymphocytes of workers exposed to chemi-
cals used in textile dyeing process, since a little infor-
mation is available on the genotoxic risk of dyers. In
addition, the use of Maras powder (a kind of smokeless
tobacco containing tobacco and ash) was considered as
a modulating factor, since it is strongly preferred in
Kahramanmaras province rather than cigarettes.
A Biomonitoring Study on the Workers
from Textile Dyeing Plants*
, E. ˇ
, M. Topaktas
, and G. Sahin
University of Kahramanmaras S
Imam, Science and Arts Faculty, Department of Biology, Kahramanmaras, Turkey;
University of Cukurova, Science and Arts Faculty, Department of Biology, Adana, 01330 Turkey
Received November 15, 2005
—We evaluated the genotoxic risk of workers from textile dyeing plants in Kahramanmaras, Turkey.
Sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and chromosomal aberrations (CAs) were investigated in peripheral blood
lymphocyte cultures of 40 workers and compared to those of 32 age-, sex-, and habit-matched healthy controls.
Groups were selected after a questionnaire administration. Use of Maras powder (a kind of smokeless tobacco)
was considered as modulating factor. The SCEs level did not show signiﬁcant differences between workers and
controls. The frequency of CA was signiﬁcantly higher in workers than in controls. Use of Maras powder was
a signiﬁcant factor to increase the frequencies of SCE and CA in control group. The level of SCE and CA did
not correlate with the age whereas there was a signiﬁcant correlation between years of exposure and CA fre-
quency. The results of this study revealed the genotoxic risk of textile dyers. Protective measures such as masks
and gloves are desirable for preventing or minimizing the occupational exposure.
* This article was submitted by the authors in English.