Formaldehyde Carcinogenicity Risk Assessment Using Benchmark Doses Approach Based on Genotoxic Effects in Occupational Exposure

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Rezvan Zendehdel, Masoomeh Vahabi


Formaldehyde as a mass-produced chemical is used in many contexts. The genotoxicity and mutagenicity of formaldehyde are observed in different human body organs, such as buccal and white blood cells. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the lower confidence interval of benchmark dose (BMDL) for genotoxic damage of formaldehyde in the workplace, according to published studies. Studies from occupational genotoxic damage of formaldehyde were retrieved using search in databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed until April 2020. The search strategy was established based on the words “formaldehyde”, “genotoxicity”, “carcinogenicity”, “DNA damage,” and “occupational exposure”. Based on dose-response data from three studies, benchmark dose (BMD) analysis was performed using EPA-BMD Software. Finally, five studies were included in the final BMDL conclusion. Polynomial and Hill models were used for BMDL evaluation in three studies, and BMD of formaldehyde was estimated between 0.062 to 0.26 ppm. The lowest level of BMDL (0.028 ppm) in five studies was considered the basic value for genotoxicity risk assessment. The estimated BMDL is approximated to the time-weighted average of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This value is suggested for the evaluation of the carcinogenic properties of formaldehyde.

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