Assessment of the Genotoxic Effects of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Among Drivers of Auto-LPG Taxis Using Micronucleus Test

Miguel Eduardo S. Jarabelo, Niño Richard C. Tan, Arnold V. Hallare, Marilen P. Balolong

Abstract


For almost a decade now, LPG has been revolutionized as an alternative fuel source in the
Philippines, particularly for use on auto-LPG taxis. However, there are reported health
concerns among drivers of auto-LPG taxis, which are allegedly linked to being exposed to
LPG combustion products. To evaluate the possible biological effects that this exposure has
on humans, genotoxicity was assessed using the micronucleus test. Buccal cell samples
were randomly collected from 22 drivers and nine office workers within Metro Manila.
Results showed that exposure to LPG combustion products leads to genetic alteration
manifested as micronuclei (p=0.029). However, observed group characteristics, such as
age, smoking habits and alcohol habits, vary between the two groups studied. Excluding the
combined effect of these factors on mean micronucleated cells (MMC) using ANCOVA, the
significant effect of LPG exposure was still found (p=0.048). After considering those
extraneous factors individually using Multiple Linear Regression, they were found to have no
effect on micronucleus formation (age p=0.228; drinking habit p=0.871; smoking habit
p=0.317).


Key words: genotoxicity, liquefied petroleum gas, micronucleus assay


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