Heavy metals, such as arsenic (As), antimony (Sb), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), germanium (Ge), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), tellurium (Te), and vanadium (V) are widely distributed in the environment and in the food chain. Human exposure to heavy metals through water and food has been reported by different international agencies. Although some of these heavy metals are essential elements for human growth and development, they may also be toxic at low concentrations due to indirect mechanisms. In this study, the genotoxic and cytotoxic properties of 15 different oxidation statuses of 11 different heavy metals were investigated using high‐throughput screening (γH2AX assay) in two human cell lines (HepG2 and LS‐174T) representative of target organs (liver and colon) for food contaminants. Base on their lowest observed adverse effect concentration, the genotoxic potency of each heavy metal in each cell line was ranked in decreasing order, NaAsO2 > CdCl2 > PbCl2 (only in LS‐174T cells) > As2O5 > SbCl3 > K2TeO3 > As2O3. No significant genotoxicity was observed with the other heavy metals tested. Cell viability data indicate that several heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Ni, Sb, and Te) induce cytotoxicity at high concentrations, whereas an increase in the number of cells was observed for lead concentrations >100 µM in both cell lines tested, suggesting that lead stimulates cell growth. All these results highlight the possible human health hazards associated with the presence of heavy metals present in food. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 59:202–210, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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