The Evaluation of Reactive Textile Dyes Regarding their Potential to Cause Organ-Specific Cyto- and Geno-Toxicity


  • Enzo Silva Department of Genetics – Federal University of Paraná
  • Andrea Sehr German Environment Agency, Bad Elster Branch
  • Tamara Grummt German Environment Agency, Bad Elster Branch
  • Danielle Oliveira School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto
  • Daniela Leme Department of Genetics – Federal University of Paraná



The textile industry extensively uses synthetic chemicals such as dyes. Several studies report the deleterious effects (e.g., cell death and DNA damage) of dyes on humans. Humans can be exposed to toxic dyes by ingesting contaminated waters or dermal contact with colored garments. Thus, toxicity evaluations of textile dyes using organ-specific cell lines are relevant to estimate their hazard. Cyto- and geno-toxicity of the dyes Reactive Green 19 (RG19), Reactive Blue 2 (RB2), Reactive Blue 19 (RB19), Reactive Red 120 (RR120) and Reactive Orange 16 (RO16) were evaluated by the In Vitro MicroFlow® kit with immortalized human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) and immortalized human hepatic cell line (HepaRG). Concentration-dependent cytotoxicity was observed for HaCaT cells exposed to five of the six tested dyes (RB2, RB19, RR120, RO16), while in HepaRG cells, cytotoxic effects were only verified after exposure to RB19 and RO16 at the highest tested concentration (1000 µg/mL). Genotoxicity was not detected in any tested textile dyes under both test conditions (HaCaT and HepaRG). In conclusion, our data provide evidence that, although the tested reactive dyes are not genotoxic, which is in agreement with published literature, they can cause cytotoxicity in both target tissue, and the effect can be more severe in epidermal cells (HaCaT) than in liver cells (HepaRG). This differential cytotoxicity data emphasizes the need to assess the toxicity of textile dyes to the target organ specificity.






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