A questionnaire on the attitudes of mutagenesis researchers regarding the health significance of and the use of data from tests of human mutagen exposure or genetic damage was completed by 71 of 312 (23%) individuals who had been participants in meetings or organizations concerned with mutagenesis research. On a point scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating strong disagreement, 5 indicating uncertainty, and 10 indicating strong agreement, the average respondent felt (8.31 ± 2.27) that data indicating a probable health hazard should be shared automatically with the subjects, but was also moderately concerned about psychological distress of subjects learning of study results indicating abnormally high mutagen exposure (6.14 ± 2.57) or genetic damage (6.94 ± 2.48). The average respondent felt that follow‐up of subjects could improve the quality of mutagen‐exposure‐monitoring studies (8.33 ± 1.49), disagreed that subjects whose laboratory data suggested unusually severe exposure or damage should not be asked about possible sources of exposure (1.15 ± 1.32), and disagreed that it was ethical to follow up but not discuss results with subjects having laboratory evidence of abnormal mutagen exposure (3.78 ± 3.43) or genetic damage (3.06 ± 3.17) to see how many developed cancer relative to a control group. Fifteen specific tests for measuring mutagen exposure or genetic damage were rated on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being “totally experimental” and 10 being “absolutely diagnostic of degree of exposure or genetic damage.” Values ranged from 6.13 ± 2.67 for karyotyping leukocytes to 3.43 ± 2.43 for quantifying frequency of rare red cells with mutant protein.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis