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Working in coal mines, despite all achievements of modern science and technology, still remains among the most dangerous occupations to the health. The review of researches about the chromosomal damage in coal miners was performed. We searched information in the following databases - PubMed, and in the electronic library with the use of the search strategy adopted in the Cochrane Collaboration. Inclusion criteria were: 1) randomized, controlled original researches; 2) researches performed in 1993-2016 where coal miners were the object of the study; 3) articles described chromosomal aberrations (CAs), micronuclei (MN), sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), DNA comets as biomarkers of the exposure. Exclusion criteria were other methods of the assessment of DNA damage; lack of data on the type of mines or coal mines/open-cast mines (uranium, tin, etc.); lack of access to the full text in Russian or English. As a result of the search 12 articles met selection criteria and showed a chromosomal damage in miners were selected. The results of researches performed in different countries (Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, Netherlands, Peru and India) demonstrate the increased frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in employees of coal mining industry. Damages are accumulated in cells of different types (buccal epithelium and lymphocytes) and can be detected by methods of the assessment of CAs, SCE, MN and DNA comet assay that indicating the complex basis of genotoxicants. The results of the analysis of the relationship between the cytogenetic markers, age and length of service are contradictory. The formation of occupational pulmonary diseases is accompanied by an additional induction of cytogenetic damage. In general, the analysis confirmed the high genotoxic risk of working conditions in underground as well as open-cast miners.

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