Letter | Published:

Nitrosocarbaryl as a Potent Mutagen of Environmental Significance

Naturevolume 247pages386387 (1974) | Download Citation



THE widespread accumulation of environmental pollutants has led to concern over their long-range effects on living organisms. Although many herbicides, pesticides, and food additives have no deterimental effect on experimental animals, the possible chemical interaction of these compounds with each other or with natural elements of the environment to produce biologically active compounds has rarely been considered. We have found that the combination of a food additive, sodium nitrite, with a commonly used pesticide, carbaryl, results in the formation in acid solution of a new mutagen of considerable potency, nitrosocarbaryl (NC). A study of the reactions leading to formation of mutagens and carcinogens from several types of pesticides and herbicides is reported elsewhere1. We present here an examination of the mutagenicity of NC in two bacterial systems, Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae.

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  1. The University of Tennessee–Oak Ridge Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Carcinogenesis Program, Biology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 37830

    • , W. LIJINSKY
    •  & JANE K. SETLOW


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