DNA damage in lymphocytes of benzene exposed workers correlates with trans,trans-muconic acids and breath benzene levels

Donggeun Sul, Eunil Lee, Mi Young Lee, Eunha Oh, Hosub Im, Joohyun Lee, Woon Won Jung, Nam Hee Won, Hyung Sik Kang, Eun Mi Kim, Seong Kyu Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Benzene causes many kinds of blood disorders in workers employed in many different environments. These diseases include myelodisplastic syndrome and acute and chronic myelocytic leukemia. In the present study, five occupational work places, including six industrial process types, namely, printing, shoe-making, methylene di-aniline (MDA), nitrobenzene, carbomer, and benzene production were selected, and the levels of breath benzene, and trans,trans-muconic acids (t,t-MA) and phenol in urine were evaluated, as well as hematological changes and lymphocyte DNA damage. The concentration of benzene in breath was less than 3 ppm in the workplaces, and benzene exposure was found to be higher in work places where benzene is used, than in those where benzene is produced. At low levels of benzene exposure, urinary t,t-MA correlated strongly with benzene in air. Highest Olive tail moments were found in workers producing carbomer. Levels of breathzone benzene were found to be strongly correlated with Olive tail moment values in the lymphocytes of workers, but not with hematological data in the six workplaces types. In conclusion, the highest benzene exposures found occurred in workers at a company, which utilized benzene in the production of carbomer. In terms of low levels of exposure to benzene, urinary t,t-MA and DNA damage exhibited a strong correlation with breath benzene, but not with hematological data. We conclude that breath benzene, t,t-MA and lymphocytic DNA damage are satisfactory biomonitoring markers with respect to benzene exposure in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr 4


  • Benzene
  • Comet assay
  • DNA damage
  • Lymphocytes
  • Phenol
  • t,t-MA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'DNA damage in lymphocytes of benzene exposed workers correlates with trans,trans-muconic acids and breath benzene levels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this