Chemical agents that react via the Michael addition reaction have important industrial and consumer applications. Over the past several years, the authors have been evaluating the mutagenicity and clastogenicity of compounds capable of Michael-type reactions. These compounds, including acrylamide, several acrylate and methacrylate esters, vinyl sulfones, and phorone, have been evaluated using TK(+/-)-3.7.2C mouse lymphoma cells. Mutagenic chemicals induced increases in the number of small colony tk(-) deficient mutants. This suggested a clastogenic mechanism which was confirmed by demonstrating increases in aberrations and micronucleus frequencies in cultured cells. Vinyl sulfone was found to be the most effective chemical mutagen with induction of genotoxic effects at concentrations as low as 0.25 microgram/ml. The other compounds also produced positive results, but at higher concentrations.