The history and current state of some newer short-term tests for occupational genetic monitoring are reviewed These are: cytogenetics, sister chromatid exchange, body fluid analysis, tests utilizing sperm, and detection of somatic cell variants. Occupational studies on benzene, vinyl chloride monomer, and epichlorohydrin are critically discussed from the standpoints of design and interpretation. It is concluded that these tests are not appropriate for risk assessment at the present time. Their clinical relevance, if any, is unknown. Proper validation and standardization have not been done, and design problems have often clouded the results of previous studies. There is a critical need for further research in the area of occupational genetic monitoring. Future applications should include integration with prospective morbidity and mortality studies, standardization of design and statistical methods, and development of new tests with genetically relevant endpoints.
©1981 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine