Xylene does not appear to cause genotoxicity (Von Burg, 1982; Dean, 1985; Fishbein, 1985; Riihimäki and Hänninen, 1987)

There was no significant difference in sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) of peripheral lymphocytes in two groups of workers exposed to xylene (average concentration 10.9 ppm and 12.9 ppm) compared to controls (Pap and Varga, 1987).

A study of 17 workers (employed 0.8-44 years, average 22.8 years) exposed to several solvents but particularly toluene (1-1257 mg/m3; 0.27-334 ppm) and xylene (14-6,074 mg/m3; 3.2-1,396 ppm) found no differences in SCEs or chromosome aberrations compared to controls (Haglund et al., 1980).

An experimental study of exposure to toluene, xylene or their mixture (toluene 50 ppm, xylene 40 ppm, for 7 hours a day for 3 consecutive days, on three occasions, two weeks apart) in five individuals, found no significant effect on SCEs, cell cycle delay or cell mortality. Also, exposure of human lymphocytes in vitro to toluene (0-2.5 mM), xylene (0-2 mM) or their mixture had no observable effect at low concentrations, with only increased cell mortality occurring at higher concentrations (Richer et al., 1993).

In vitro studies on human lymphocytes exposed to various xylene concentrations found no increase in SCEs or the number of chromosome aberrations. However, at the higher concentrations there was significant inhibition of cell growth (Gerner-Smidt and Friedrich, 1978).

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