Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit

Genova, Italy

Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit

Genova, Italy
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Bolognesi C.,Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit | Castoldi A.F.,Food Ingredients and Packaging FIP Unit | Crebelli R.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Barthelemy E.,Food Ingredients and Packaging FIP Unit | And 5 more authors.
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis | Year: 2017

Food contact materials are all materials and articles intended to come directly or indirectly into contact with food. Before being included in the positive European “Union list” of authorized substances (monomers, other starting substances and additives) for plastic food contact materials, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must assess their safety “in use”. If relevant for risk, the safety of the main impurities, reaction and degradation products originating from the manufacturing process is also evaluated. Information on genotoxicity is always required irrespective of the extent of migration and the resulting human exposure, in view of the theoretical lack of threshold for genotoxic events. The 2008 EFSA approach, requiring the testing of food contact materials in three in vitro mutagenicity tests, though still acceptable, is now superseded by the 2011 EFSA Scientific Committee's recommendation for only two complementary tests including a bacterial gene mutation test and an in vitro micronucleus test, to detect two main genetic endpoints (i.e., gene mutations and chromosome aberrations). Follow-up of in vitro positive results depends on the type of genetic effect and on the substance's systemic availability. In this study, we provide an analysis of the data on genotoxicity testing gathered by EFSA on food contact materials for the period 1992–2015. We also illustrate practical examples of the approaches that EFSA took when evaluating “non standard” food contact chemicals (e.g., polymeric additives, oligomer or other reaction mixtures, and nanosubstances). Additionally, EFSA's experience gained from using non testing methods and/or future possibilities in this area are discussed. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:361–374, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Bolognesi C.,Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit | Bruzzone M.,Clinical Epidemiology Unit | Ceppi M.,Clinical Epidemiology Unit | Kirsch-Volders M.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Mutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research | Year: 2017

Vinyl chloride (VC) is widely used in industry in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is used to manufacture a large variety of materials. VC was classified as a known (Group 1) human carcinogen by IARC on the basis of increased risk for liver angiosarcoma and hepatocellular cancer, and the carcinogenicity of VC was shown to be mediated by a genotoxic mechanism. Following inhalation, the compound is rapidly absorbed and metabolized in the liver to the electrophilic metabolites chloroethylene-oxide and chloroacetaldehyde, which form DNA adducts that can be processed into point mutations in cancer-related genes detected in humans and rats exposed to VC. A number of genotoxicity biomarkers were applied in workers exposed to VC to detect early biological responses associated with the carcinogenesis process. The present systematic review analyzed the published studies in which the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay in peripheral lymphocytes (L-CBMN) was applied in VC-exposed subjects. Thirteen out of fifteen retrieved studies performed in China showed increased MN frequencies (FR 1.92–3.98) associated with increased cumulative exposure or employment time. Twofold and more than threefold increases were detected in PVC-exposed workers exposed to a mean of 50 ppm of VC in the former Yugoslavia and in South India, respectively. The meta-analysis of MN frequency from six eligible studies confirmed this tendency (pooled MR 2.32 – 95% CI 1.64–3.27). The benchmark dose lower limit for 10% excess risk (BMDL 10) calculated from three studies resulted in an estimated exposure limit of 0.03–0.07 mg/m3. Overall the results of this review showed the need for further studies, especially because PVC products from China may contain high levels of uncoupled VCM that could represent a source of exposure to workers and consumers. Moreover, the results underline the importance of re-evaluating the recommended exposure limits using new biomonitoring methods in addition to MN. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Sacchi A.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Mouneyrac C.,Catholic University of the West | Bolognesi C.,Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit | Sciutto A.,Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2013

Coastal lagoons are constantly subjected to releases of chemical pollutants, and so organisms may be exposed to such toxicants. This study investigated through a multivariate approach the physiological status of bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum, farmed in Sacca di Goro lagoon. Biomarkers at different levels of biological organization (catalase, superoxide dismutase, genotoxicity, reburrowing behavior) were evaluated at three sites exposed to different environmental conditions. A seasonal trend was observed, and micronucleus frequency was significantly lowest at the relatively pristine reference site. Enzymatic activity toward oxyradicals be quite efficient since variations in responsiveness were not consistent. However, behavioral impairment was observed in reburrowing rates. Sediment concentrations showed low PAH levels and high natural levels of trace metals Cr and Ni. DistLM statistical analysis revealed a non-significant relationship between selected biomarkers and xenobiotics. Therefore other potentially toxic compounds in admixture at low doses may be involved in driving differing spatial distribution of physiological impairment. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Bolognesi C.,Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit | Bonassi S.,Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Unit | Knasmueller S.,Medical University of Vienna | Fenech M.,CSIRO | And 3 more authors.
Mutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research | Year: 2015

The micronucleus assay in uncultured exfoliated buccal mucosa cells, involving minimally invasive sampling, was successfully applied to evaluate inhalation and local exposure to genotoxic agents, impact of nutrition and lifestyle factors. The potential use of the assay in clinics to monitor the development of local oral lesions and as an early biomarker for tumors and different chronic disorders was also investigated. A systematic review of the literature was carried out focusing on the clinical application of the assay. The literature search updated to January 2015 allowed to retrieve 42 eligible articles. Fifty three percent of investigations are related to oral, head and neck cancer, and premalignant oral diseases. Our analysis evidences a potential usefulness of the MN assay applied in buccal exfoliated cells in the prescreening and in the follow up of precancerous oral lesions. A significant excess of MN, in patients compared with matched controls was observed for subgroups of oral and neck cancer (meta-MR of 2.40, 95% CI: 2.02-2.85) and leukoplakia (meta-MR 1.88, 95% CI: 1.51-2.35). The meta-analysis of studies available on other tumors (meta-MR 2.00; 95% CI:1.66-2.41) indicates that the MN frequency in buccal cells could reflect the chromosomal instability of other organs. Increased MN frequency was also observed in small size studies on patients with chronic diseases, with Alzheimer's disease and with Down syndrome. The application of the cytome approach providing information of genotoxic, cytotoxic and cytostatic effects is suggestive of the possibility of an improvement in the predictive value of the assay and this deserves further investigations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Environmental Carcinogenesis Unit, Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, CSIRO and Medical University of Vienna
Type: | Journal: Mutation research. Reviews in mutation research | Year: 2015

The micronucleus assay in uncultured exfoliated buccal mucosa cells, involving minimally invasive sampling, was successfully applied to evaluate inhalation and local exposure to genotoxic agents, impact of nutrition and lifestyle factors. The potential use of the assay in clinics to monitor the development of local oral lesions and as an early biomarker for tumors and different chronic disorders was also investigated. A systematic review of the literature was carried out focusing on the clinical application of the assay. The literature search updated to January 2015 allowed to retrieve 42 eligible articles. Fifty three percent of investigations are related to oral, head and neck cancer, and premalignant oral diseases. Our analysis evidences a potential usefulness of the MN assay applied in buccal exfoliated cells in the prescreening and in the follow up of precancerous oral lesions. A significant excess of MN, in patients compared with matched controls was observed for subgroups of oral and neck cancer (meta-MR of 2.40, 95% CI: 2.02-2.85) and leukoplakia (meta-MR 1.88, 95% CI: 1.51-2.35). The meta-analysis of studies available on other tumors (meta-MR 2.00; 95% CI:1.66-2.41) indicates that the MN frequency in buccal cells could reflect the chromosomal instability of other organs. Increased MN frequency was also observed in small size studies on patients with chronic diseases, with Alzheimers disease and with Down syndrome. The application of the cytome approach providing information of genotoxic, cytotoxic and cytostatic effects is suggestive of the possibility of an improvement in the predictive value of the assay and this deserves further investigations.

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