Micronucleus Assay of Buccal Mucosal Cells in Hairdressers: The Importance of Occupational Exposure

Document Type: Research Articles


1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Dental Branch of Tehran, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Dentist, Tehran, Iran.


Background and objective: Today, the chemical materials available in hair dyes are considered risk factors for many
cancers, particularly oral cancer. This study was performed to study the effect of occupational exposure on micronucleus
(MN) frequency of buccal mucosa cells in hairdressers. Materials and methods: This historical cohort study was
performed on 28 hairdressers and 28 control samples. To eliminate the gender variable, all the samples were women
and they were matched by age. Buccal mucosa cells were removed using a wet spatula and after fixation, Papanicolaou
staining method was applied. The percentage of the cells containing MN was registered. T-test was used to compare
the results between the two groups. Results: The mean percentages of MN in buccal mucosa cells of hairdresser’s and
control sample were 16.61±4.95 and 8.84±4.74, respectively, with a significant difference (P<0.001). In addition, higher
MN mean percentage was reported in subjects working more than 60 hours weekly compared with those working 60
hours and less; however, the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.14). Conclusion: In the present study,
hairdressers demonstrate significantly higher average of MN in buccal mucosa cells. Also, it seems increment in their
working time can increase MN frequency in these studied samples.


Main Subjects