The Use of Short-Term Tests in the Isolation and Identification of Chemical Mutagens in Complex Mixtures

  • J. L. Epler

Abstract

The feasibility of using short-term mutagenicity assays to isolate and identify the potential biohazards) of complex materials is being examined by use of various coupled chemical and biological approaches. Such research has usually involved a preliminary chemical characterization and preparation for bioassay, followed by testing for bioactivity (generally the mutagenicity test for Salmonella histidine reversion described by Ames et al. p(1). Subsequent fractionation procedures to further characterize the mutagens present are carried out, with the bioassay being used as a tool to follow the activity and guide the separations. The mutagenicity tests are intended to function as (1) predictors of profound long-range health effects such as mutagenesis and/or carcinogenesis; (2) a mechanism to rapidly isolate and identify a hazardous biological agent in a complex mixture; and (3) a measure of biological activity, correlating baseline data with changes in experimental (or environmental) conditions and, in the case of actual industrial effluents or streams, with changes in process conditions. With this combined chemical fractionation and short-term assay approach, the investigator can accumulate information on the actual compounds responsible for the biological effect. Thus, the mutagenicity tests will also function as (4) an aid in identifying the specific hazardous compounds involved and in establishing priorities for more definitive chemical analysis and monitoring along with further validative testing in comparative systems, including whole-animal testing, for mutagenesis and carcinogenesis.

Keywords

Benzene DMSO Hydrocarbon Diesel MeOH 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Epler
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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