Science Inventory



Claxton, L D., P. Matthews, AND S H. Warren. THE GENOTOXICITY OF AMBIENT OUTDOOR AIR, A REVIEW: SALMONELLA MUTAGENICITY. MUTATION RESEARCH. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 567(2-3):347-399, (2004).


to review what we know about the mutagenicity of outdoor air from using the Salmonella assay


The genotoxicity of ambient outdoor air, a review: Salmonella mutagenicity

Mutagens in urban air pollution come from anthropogenic sources (especially combustion sources) and are products of airborne chemical reactions. Bacterial mutation tests have been used for large, multi-site, and/or time series studies, for bioassay-directed fractionation studies, for identifying the presence of specific classes of mutagens, and for doing site- or source-comparisons for relative levels of airborne mutagens. Early research recognized that although carcinogenic PAHs were present in air samples they could not account for the majority of the mutagenic activity detected. As shown a summary table and an appendix listing 488 airborne compounds, the mutagenicity of airborne particulate organics is due to an extensive number of compounds from varying chemical classes. Bioassay-directed fractionation studies for identifying toxicants are difficult to compare because they do not identify all of the mutagens present, and both the analytical and bioassay protocols vary from study to study. However, these studies show that the majority of mutagenicity is usually associated with moderately polar/highly polar classes of compounds which tend to contain nitroaromatic compounds, aromatic amines, and aromatic ketones. Smog chamber studies have shown that mutagenic aliphatic and aromatic nitrogen-containing compounds are produced in the atmosphere when organic compounds (even non-mutagenic compounds) are exposed to nitrogen oxides and sunlight. Reactions that occur in the atmosphere, therefore, can have a profound effect on the genotoxic burden of ambient air. The review illustrates that the mutagenesis protocol and tester strains used should depend upon the design and purpose of the study, and that the correlation with animal cancer bioassay results depends upon chemical class. Future emphasis needs to be placed on volatile and semi-volatile genotoxicants, and on multi-national studies that identify, quantitate, and apportion mutagenicity. Initial efforts at replacing the Salmonella assay for ambient air studies with some emerging technology should be initiated.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 11/11/2004
Record Last Revised: 10/15/2008
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 104828