What environmental factors can cause mutations?

1 Answer
Jun 5, 2017

Anything in the environment that can cause a mutation is called as a mutagen.


Environmental mutagens include :

Ionising radiations such as X rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, UV radiations and radioactive decay act as mutagens.

Chemicals that react with DNA molecules such as alkylators include ethyl methane sulfonate, methyl methane sulfonate, di ethyl sulfonate and nitrosogaunidine.

Infectious agents.
Viral DNA (e.g. Rous sarcoma virus) or bacteria (e.g. Helicobacter pylori) may cause changes in DNA and bring about mutations.

Extreme heat.
Being exposed to extreme heat may also cause mutations.

The environment we live in has a real impact on whether we experience genetic mutations. The quality of water we drink and the air we breathe can actually effect the integrity of our DNA. Our bodies are designed to correct any mistakes, but dangers from the environment can increase our chances of ending up with a mutation.