Abstract—Occupational exposure to formaldehyde (FA) has been related to adverse outcomes. However, a short period of exposure has never been assessed in terms of evaluating DNA. This study conducted on 39 medical students exposed to FA in a university laboratory of human anatomy and aimed to analyze the relationship between FA exposure and DNA damage. The buccal micronucleus cytome assay (BMCyt) was used to evaluate the students at four time points: before FA exposure, after four months of FA exposure, after eight months of FA exposure and after three months without FA exposure (remission period). Pyknotic cells, karyolitic cells, karyorrhetic cells, condensed chromatin, binucleated cells, basal cells differentiated cells, micronucleated cells and nuclear bridges were enumerated. This study shows that FA exposure caused genomic instability in all periods and the remission period was not sufficient to reverse all damage. Thus, prolonged occupational exposure to FA not only causes DNA damage but a shorter exposure period can have the same effect.
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