Genotoxicity of Agrotoxic Compounds

Authored by: Vera Lucia S.S. de Castro , Paola Poli

Managing Global Resources and Universal Processes

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342637
eBook ISBN: 9780429346132
Adobe ISBN:


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Large amounts of chemicals are released into the environment, many of which affect non-target organisms and are a potential hazard to human health. Exposure to pesticides has been associated with an increase in the incidence of genotoxicity. Many reports provide evidence of genotoxic effects induced by these compounds such as direct DNA damage, chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchange, and micronuclei. In this entry, some examples of pesticides’ genotoxic effects are present. Also, a wide variety of methods used to study these effects are discussed. In some cases, they can provide an early detection of biological events induced by pesticides. They contribute to the exploration of the action mode of these chemicals for risk assessment. However, there is some inconsistent observation of biological effects from similarly exposed populations, with large interindividual variations in response to the exposure. Together with genotoxicity test batteries employed in the testing of environmental chemicals and other agents over the past years, nowadays, new test batteries have been proposed. Genomic technologies are rapidly evolving as powerful tools for studying and detecting the genotoxicity of environmental chemicals. Another major task of modern toxicology is the analysis of gene–environment interactions using molecular epidemiology. Besides, for more elaborate studies, these techniques should be paired with behavioral approaches taking into account aspects of social priorities and not yet solved legal problems.

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