Exposure to pesticide mixtures and DNA damage among rice field workers

Marcela Eugenia Varona-Uribe, Carlos H. Torres-Rey, Sonia Díaz-Criollo, Ruth Marien Palma-Parra, Diana María Narváez, Sandra Patricia Carmona, Leonardo Briceño, Alvaro J. Idrovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study describes the use of pesticides mixtures and their potential association with comet assay results in 223 rice field workers in Colombia. Thirty-one pesticides were quantified in blood, serum, and urine (15 organochlorines, 10 organophosphorus, 5 carbamates, and ethylenethiourea), and the comet assay was performed. Twenty-four (77.42%) pesticides were present in the workers. The use of the maximum-likelihood factor analysis identified 8 different mixtures. Afterwards, robust regressions were used to explore associations between the factors identified and the comet assay. Two groups of mixtures-α-benzene hexachloride (α-BHC), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and β-BHC (β: 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.33-2.10) and pirimiphos-methyl, malathion, bromophos-methyl, and bromophos-ethyl (β: 11.97, 95% CI: 2.34-21.60)-were associated with a higher percentage of DNA damage and comet tail length, respectively. The findings suggest that exposure to pesticides varies greatly among rice field workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Environmental Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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