Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 217–219 | Cite as

Negative results ofumu genotoxicity test of fluorotelomer alcohols and perfluorinated alkyl acids

  • Yoshimitsu Oda
  • Shoji Nakayama
  • Kouji H. Harada
  • Akio Koizumi
Short Communication



Recently, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) has been ubiquitously detected in the environment as well as in human serum. Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs), a precursor of PFOA, undergo biodegradation via several metabolic routes which leads to formation of various biodegradation products. The degradation of FTOHs produces an α,β-unsaturated aldehyde that seems possibly to be electrophilic and may react with cellular macromolecules including DNA.


We investigated the genotoxicity of three FTOHs (6∶2 FTOH, 8∶2 FTOH and 10∶2 FTOH), PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) using theumu test.


The FTOHs, PFOA and PFOS showed no significant increases in β-galactosidase activity at 0–1000 μM in the absence of S9 mix. The results were unchanged by the metabolic activation with S9 mix.


The genotoxicities of FTOHs, PFOA or PFOS are not detectable using the present method, suggesting that they are unlikely mutagens.

Key words

perfluorooctane sulfonate perfluorooctanoic acid fluorotelomer alcohols genotoxicity umu test 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. (1).
    Nakayama S, Harada K, Inoue K, Sasaki K, Seery B, Saito N, et al. Distributions of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in Japan and their toxicities. Environ Sci. 2005;12:293–313.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. (2).
    Ellis DA, Martin JW, De Silva AO, Mabury SA, Hurley MD, Andersen MPS, et al. Degradation of fluorotelomer alcohols: a likely atmospheric source of perfluorinated carboxylic acids. Environ Sci Technol. 2004;38:3316–3321.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. (3).
    Kissa E. Fluorinated Surfactants and Repellents, 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker; 2001.Google Scholar
  4. (4).
    Martin JW, Muir DC, Moody CA, Ellis DA, Kwan WC, Solomon KR, et al. Collection of airborne fluorinated organics and analysis by gas chromatography/chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Anal Chem. 2002;74:584–590.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. (5).
    Jahnke A, Ahrens L, Ebinghaus R, Temme C. Urban versus remote air concentrations of fluorotelomer alcohols and other polyfluorinated alkyl substances in Germany. Environ Sci Technol. 2007:10.1021/es0619861.Google Scholar
  6. (6).
    Kärrman A, van Bavel B, Jarnberg U, Hardell L, Lindström G. Perfluorinated chemicals in relation to other persistent organic pollutants in human blood. Chemosphere. 2006;64: 1582–1591.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. (7).
    Abdellatif AG, Preat V, Taper HS, Roberfroid M. The modulation of rat liver carcinogenesis by perfluorooctanoic acid, a peroxisome proliferator. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1991;111:530–537.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. (8).
    Martin JW, Mabury SA, O’Brien PJ. Metabolic products and pathways of fluorotelomer alcohols in isolated rat hepatocytes. Chem Biol Interact. 2005;155:165–180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. (9).
    Oda Y, Yamazaki H, Watanabe M, Nohmi T, Shimada T. Highly sensitive umu test system for the detection of mutagenic nitroarenes inSalmonella typhimurium NM3009 having high O-acetyltransferase and nitroreductase activities. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1993;21:357–364.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. (10).
    Oda Y, Yamazaki H, Watanabe M, Nohmi T, Shimada T. Development of high sensitive umu test system: rapid detection of genotoxicity of promutagenic aromatic amines bySalmonella typhimurium strain NM2009 possessing high O-acetyltransferase activity. Mutat Res. 1995;334:145–156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. (11).
    Oda Y, Nakamura S, Oki I, Kato T, Shinagawa H. Evaluation of the new system (umu test) for the detection of environmental mutagens and carcinogens. Mutat Res. 1985;147:219–229.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. (12).
    Miller JH. Experiments in Molecular Genetics. Cold Spring Harbor, New York, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1972.Google Scholar
  13. (13).
    Kennedy GL, Jr., Butenhoff JL, Olsen GW, O’Connor JC, Seacat AM, Perkins RG, et al. The toxicology of perfluorooctanoate. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2004;34:351–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. (14).
    Sohlenius AK, Andersson K, DePierre JW. The effects of perfluoro-octanoic acid on hepatic peroxisome proliferation and related parameters show no sex-related differences in mice. Biochem J. 1992;285 (Pt 3):779–783.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. (15).
    Klaunig JE, Babich MA, Baetcke KP, Cook JC, Corton JC, David RM, et al. PPARα agonist-induced rodent tumors: modes of action and human relevance. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2003;33:655–780.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. (16).
    Maras M, Vanparys C, Muylle F, Robbens J, Berger U, Barber JL, et al. Estrogen-like properties of fluorotelomer alcohols as revealed by MCF-7 breast cancer cell proliferation. Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114:100–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. (17).
    Andervont HB, Shimkin MB, Canter HY. The growth of estrogen-induced interstitial-cell testicular tumors in BALB/c mice. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1960;24:1219–1237.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Hygiene 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshimitsu Oda
    • 1
  • Shoji Nakayama
    • 2
  • Kouji H. Harada
    • 2
  • Akio Koizumi
    • 2
  1. 1.Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public HealthOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Health and Environmental SciencesKyoto University Graduate School of MedicineKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations