Mutagenicity of Pesticides
Microbial mutagenicity screening studies employing Ames tests were done on 228 pesticides. As a result, 50 compounds showed mutagenicity and five of them required metabolic activation for their activities. Among the various compound groups, organic phosphates, halogenated alkanes and dithiocarbamates contained mutagens at a higher ratio. Mutagenicity of these pesticides was less potent than that of other mutagens. Cytogenetic studies on the pesticides which were positive in microbial assays revealed a good correlation between the ability to induce sister chromatid exchanges or chromosomal aberrations and the mutagenic potency in bacteria. Dominant lethal studies on 1, 2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) and ethylene dibromide (EDB) disclosed that DBCP gave positive results in rats but not in mice, although EDB was negative in both species. DBCP was also positive in a sex-linked recessive lethal test using Drosophila melanogaster. Occupational exposure to pesticides, especially gaseous ones like DBCP, in industry or in agriculture seems hazardous from the genetic toxicological point of view.
KeywordsCarbofuran Nitrofen Fenitrothion Methomyl Carboxin
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