Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 31, pp 31183–31189 | Cite as

Estimation of formaldehyde occupational exposure limit based on genetic damage in some Iranian exposed workers using benchmark dose method

  • Rezvan Zendehdel
  • Masoomeh VahabiEmail author
  • Roya Sedghi
Research Article


The present study evaluated an occupational exposure level for formaldehyde employing benchmark dose (BMD) approach. Dose–response relationship was determined by utilizing cumulative occupational exposure dose and DNA damage. Based on this goal, outcome of comet assay for some Iranian exposed people in occupational exposure individuals was used. In order to assess formaldehyde exposure, 53 occupationally exposed individuals selected from four melamine tableware workshops and 34 unexposed subjects as a control group were examined. The occupational exposure dose was carried out according to the NIOSH-3500 method, and the DNA damage was obtained by employing comet assay in peripheral blood cells. EPA Benchmark Dose Software was employed for calculating BMD and BMDL. Cumulative exposure dose of formaldehyde was between of 2.4 and 1972 mg. According to the findings of the current study, the induction of DNA damage in the exposed persons was increased tail length and tail moment (p < 0.001), when compared to controls. Finally, an acceptable dose–response relationship was obtained in three-category information between formaldehyde cumulative exposure doses and genetic toxicity. BMDL was 0.034 mg/m3 (0.028 ppm), corresponding to genetic damage of peripheral blood cells. It can be concluded that the occupational permissible limit in Iranian people could be at levels lower than OSHA standards.


Formaldehyde DNA damages Benchmark dose Occupational exposure limit Comet assay 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rezvan Zendehdel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masoomeh Vahabi
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roya Sedghi
    • 3
  1. 1.Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public HealthShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran

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