The bacterial mutagenicity of 2-nitrodibenzo-p-dioxin, a mixture of 2-nitro-7-chloro- and 2-nitro-8-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, 7-nitro-2,3-dichloro-, 8-nitro-2,3,7-trichloro-, 2-nitro-1,3,7,8-tetrachloro- and 3-nitro-1,2,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin was determined using Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA98 and TA100 with and without rat hepatic S9 for metabolic activation. All the nitro-PCDDs exhibited some direct-acting mutagenicity with both tester strains, however, the activity was significantly lowered in the presence of exogenous S9 and the compounds were more mutagenic to tester strain TA98. The mutagenicity of the nitro-PCDDs was also dependent on structure because there was a marked decrease in activity with increasing chlorine content. Because nitro-PCDDs have recently been identified as incomplete combustion products of municipal waste, this study confirms that this new class of compounds contains some bacterial mutagens.
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