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Definition - What does mutagen mean?

A mutagen is a substance or element that brings about a permanent genetic change to the DNA of a cell of a living organism. The changes caused by the mutagen can be passed on during cell reproduction. A mutagen causes imperfections in cells which has the potential to be dangerous or life-threatening. Mutagens in the workplace are generally classified as hazardous substances and their storage, usage, and required safety procedures are regulated.

SureHire explains mutagen

In the workplace, employees may be required to work in environments where they are exposed to mutagens that could pose a risk to the employee's health. Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees are suitably protected if they are exposed to mutagens in the performance of their job. The Ames test can detect the presence of a mutagen. Formaldehyde, nicotine, and peroxide are examples chemical mutagens that can be found in many manufacturing plants. There are also environmental mutagens that employers must be aware of, such as the sun's ultraviolet light, that can bring about changes in skin DNA with the risk of causing skin cancer.

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