Ethylene oxide is a classical mutagen and a carcinogen based on evidence from studies in experimental animals. It is widely distributed in industrial, research, hospital, and food environments. In an effort to explore the use of newly developed methods for exposing mammalian cells to gaseous or volatile mutagens/carcinogens, Chinese hamster V79 cells were treated for 2 hr with gaseous ethylene oxide, in sealed treatment chambers and assayed for survival and mutagenic response by analysis of induced resistance to 6-thioguanine or ouabain. Significant numbers of mutants were produced at both genetic markers by 1,250-7,500 ppm ethylene oxide. Similarly, primary Syrian hamster embryo cells were treated for 2 or 20 hr with gaseous ethylene oxide in sealed treatment chambers and subsequently assayed for survival and increased sensitivity to SA7 virus transformation. Treatment concentrations extended from toxic to several nontoxic concentrations.