Objective: Micronuclei (MN) are biomarkers that can be applied to buccal epithelial cells to assess populations occupationally exposed to potentially carcinogenic agents. Liquid-based cytology (LBC) is a way to improve and refine the results obtained by this test. Study Design: Exfoliated buccal cells were collected from 40 subjects (20 construction workers from the Barretos Cancer Hospital and 20 administrative staff from the same institution). LBC and three stains (Feulgen/fast green, Papanicolaou and Giemsa) were used to prepare the slides. Student's t test was applied for statistical comparisons of the data. A p value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Regardless of the stain employed, the frequency of MN was greater in the case group (Feulgen/fast green: 5.15; Papanicolaou: 29; Giemsa: 26) than in the control group (Feulgen/fast green: 2.30; Papanicolaou: 17; Giemsa: 15). Conclusions: Using LBC to prepare slides and evaluate the frequency of MN potentially serves as a screening option for more comprehensive studies of cancer risk among populations occupationally exposed to potentially carcinogenic agents. In addition, the residual fluid enables the preparation of slides for DNA-specific stains that can be compared to those with Papanicolaou stain.

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