Biomonitoring of a population residing near to mine tailings in Guanajuato, Mexico [Biomonitoreo de una población que reside cerca de jales mineros en Guanajuato, México] Article uri icon


  • Some metals present in residues coming from mining activities can damage DNA. A preliminary evaluation was carried out to determine the genotoxic effects on a resident population from a mining area in Xichú, Guanajuato, Mexico. Blood lead levels (BLL), and arsenic levels in urine (AsU), were measured as biomarkers of exposure. Hematological damage was evaluated trough hematocrit, hemoglobin and activity of enzyme delta-aminolevulinic dehydratase (δ-ALAD). DNA damage in blood cells was evaluated by comet assay. BLL (7.5 ± 1.2 and 7.9 ± 3.3 μg/dL) and AsU (25.2 ± 15.8 and 18.3 ± 18.4 μg/g creatinine) were found in children and adults, respectively. Of the children and adults, 100 and 91.7 %25, respectively had levels of enzyme activity below 20 U/L erythrocytes. Regarding DNA damage, the children showed an Olive tail moment of 5.0 ± 1.6 and a tail length of 40.9 ± 4.9 μm, of similar magnitude than adults (4.6 ± 1.0 and 41.8 ± 5.9 μm, respectively). In conclusion, this preliminary study describes the health risk scenario of population near the mine, nevertheless, more studies are needed in the area. © 2020, Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera, UNAM. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2020-01-01