The mutagenicity of several insecticides (Fosfotion (Malathion), Ditriphon-50 (Trichlorfon), Wofatox (Methyl-parathion), Phosdrin (Mevinphos), Bi 58 (Dimethoate), Basudin E (Diazinon), Nuvan (Dichlorvos)) containing organic phosphoric acid esters was studied in the lymphocyte cultures of patients suffering intoxication as a result of either attempting to commit suicide or exposure during work due to violation of safety measures or inexperience. From each patient-except those who died in the acute period-three blood samples were taken: immediately (3 to 6 days) after exposure and about 30 and 180 days after intoxication. The results of the chromosome studies were compared to the seriousness of the intoxication and to the individual insecticides. A temporary, but significant increase was found in the frequency of chromatid breaks and stable chromosome-type aberrations in acutely intoxicated persons. The results obtained strongly suggest that the organic phosphoric acid esters studied exert direct mutagenic effects on the chromosomes.
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