Genotoxic effects following exposure to air pollution in street vendors from a high-traffic urban area

  • Érica Prado Domingues
  • Guilherme Gomes Silva
  • Andrei Barbassa Oliveira
  • Lorrany Marins Mota
  • Vanessa Santana Vieira Santos
  • Edimar Olegário de CamposJr
  • Boscolli Barbosa Pereira


Workers in several occupational environments are exposed to pollutants. Street vendors, for example, typically work in a high-traffic urban environment and are exposed to numerous air pollutants, including genotoxic substances emitted by motor vehicles. This study examined the genotoxic effects of exposure to air pollution. We conducted cytological analyses to assess frequencies of micronucleated (MN) and binucleated (BN) cells in a sample of exfoliated oral mucosa cells. We compared street vendors and control subjects in the city of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and also collected quantitative information on exposure conditions of all test subjects, including concentrations of particulate matter. We found street vendors to exhibit higher frequencies of MN cells compared to the control group. We evaluated the effects of possible confounding variables on MN frequencies, namely the body mass index (BMI), age, as well as smoking and alcohol habits. Multiple linear regression analysis found no significant effects of any of those variables. Our results suggest that continued exposure to air pollution from traffic represents a major source of genotoxicity and raises concerns regarding disease prevention not only in street vendors but also other groups of people working in urban environments.


Micronucleus assay Particulate matter Environmental assessment 


Funding information

Financial support came from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

Compliance with ethical standards

Our study was carried out in accordance with the ethical standards in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Our research protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of Fundação Carmelitana Mário Palmério (FUCAMP) in Monte Carmelo, Minas Gerais, Brazil (number 1.599.783).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Érica Prado Domingues
    • 1
  • Guilherme Gomes Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrei Barbassa Oliveira
    • 1
  • Lorrany Marins Mota
    • 1
  • Vanessa Santana Vieira Santos
    • 1
  • Edimar Olegário de CamposJr
    • 3
  • Boscolli Barbosa Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health, Laboratory of Environmental HealthFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  2. 2.College of Animal Science and TechnologyNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, Laboratory of Cytogenetics and MutagenesisFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil

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