Organophosphate Pesticides Cause DNA Damage in Rats

by Kahea Kanuha

The growing use of pesticides in large-scale agricultural applications as well as for household purposes has resulted in their widespread distribution in the environment. To see if pesticide exposure damaged DNA, Ojha et al. (2011) evaluated the genotoxicity of chlorpyrifos (CPF), methyl parathion (MPT), and malathion (MLT), three organophosphate pesticides, when given individually or in combination to rats. The results showed that even a single dose of CPF, MPT, or MLT caused significantly high levels of DNA damage in all the rat tissues examined. DNA damage was also observed in microscopic examinations of tissue samples from the liver, brain, kidney, and spleen of rats exposed to one or more pesticides. It was also observed that the damaged DNA is repaired by the endogenous repair systems with time. When the pesticides are given together, they do not potentiate …

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