Evaluation of chlorite and chlorate genotoxicity using plant bioassays and in vitro DNA damage tests.
Water Res. 2008 Sep;42(15):4075-82. Epub 2008 Jun 26. PMID: 18718628
Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Hygiene Section, University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last few years chlorine dioxide has been increasingly used for disinfecting drinking water in many countries. Although it does not react with humic substances, chlorine dioxide added to water is reduced primarily to chlorite and chlorate ions, compounds that are under investigation for their potential adverse effects on human health. The aim of this research was to study the genotoxicity of chlorite and chlorate and their mixtures. The end-points included two plant tests (chromosomal aberration test in Allium cepa and micronucleus assay in Tradescantia, carried out at different times of exposure) and two genotoxicity tests in human HepG2 cells (comet assay and cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus test). Preliminary toxicity tests were carried out for both plant and HepG2 assays. The results showed that chlorite and chlorate are able to induce chromosomal damage to plant systems, particularly chromosomal aberrations in A. cepa root tip cells, even at concentrations lower than the limit established by Italian normative law and WHO guidelines. In HepG2 cells increased DNA damage was only observed for chlorate at the lowest concentration. No increase in micronuclei frequency was detected in any of the samples tested in human HepG2 cells.