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Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology
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ISSN Druckformat: 0731-8898
ISSN Online: 2162-6537

Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology

DOI: 10.1615/JEnvPathToxOncol.v23.i4.30
12 pages

Comparison of Genotoxicity of Textile Dyestuffs in Salmonella Mutagenicity Assay, In Vitro Micronucleus Assay, and Single Cell Gel/Comet Assay

Klaus-M. Wollin
Lower Saxony State Agency for Ecology, Hannover, Germany
Bernd-D. Gorlitz
Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, Hannover, Germany


The mutagenicity of textile dyes is an important consideration for the assurance of consumer protection and work safety. The mutagenicity testing of textile dyestuffs is crucial for accurately predicting health risks for consumers and workers exposed to dyes. Unfortunately, these data are often lacking. We studied the genotoxic activity of ten selected commercial textile dyestuffs, which are made up of mixtures of azo dyes and azo metal complex dyes as well as two anthraquinone dyestuffs. We used the Salmonella mutagenicity assay and cultured human keratinocytes (HaCaT cell line). In the S. typhimurium strain TA98, with and without S9, eight often dyestuffs investigated, and in strain TA 100, with and without S9, six often dyes caused frameshift mutations and base-pair substitutions in the dose range of 1—5000 μg/plate in a dose-related manner. All dyes, including those negative in the Salmonella mutagenicity assay, induced clastogenic effects in the in vitro micronucleus (MN) test in HaCaT cells as direct-acting mutagens in the concentration range of 5—150 μg/mL and with maximum MN frequencies between 1.1 and 7.2%, compared to negative controls that showed 0.2—0.4% MN cells. In the single cell gel/comet assay, all ten dyestuffs investigated caused DNA damage in HaCaT keratinocytes. The alkaline (pH >13) version used is capable of detecting DNA single strand breaks, alkali-labile sites, and DNA—DNA/DNA—protein cross-linking. Under the conditions of these screening tests, the textile dyes investigated are direct-acting genotoxic substances. The HaCaT cells testing protocol proposed has been shown to be an appropriate test system for evaluating mutagenicity of textile dyes on a base level.

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