Results of the IPCS collaborative study on complex mixtures

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Department of Biological Sciences


The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) sponsored a collaborative study to examine the intra- and inter-laboratory variation associated with the preparation and bioassay of complex chemical mixtures. The mixtures selected were National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). 20 laboratories worldwide participated in the collaborative trial. The participating laboratories extracted the organic portion of two particulate samples - an air-particulate sample and a diesel-particulate sample - and bioassayed the extracts. The laboratories simultaneously bioassayed a NIST-prepared extract of coal tar and two control compounds (benzo[a]pyrene, and 1-nitropyrene). The bioassay method used was the Salmonella/mammalian microsome plate-incorporation test using strains TA98 and TA100. Study design also allowed for a comparison of sonication and Soxhlet extraction techniques. The mean extractable masses for the air particles and diesel particles were approximately 5% and 1.75%, respectively. The particulate samples were mutagenic in both strains with and without activation in all 20 laboratories. For TA100 the with and without activation slope values for the air particulate were 162 and 137 revertants per mg particles, respectively. For TA98 the respective diesel slope values were 268 and 269. The mutagenicity slope values for the diesel particles ranged from 3090 (TA98, + S9) to 6697 (TA100, + S9) revertants per mg particles. The coal tar solution was negative for both strains when exogenous activation was not used but was mutagenic in both strains with exogenous activation. The benzo[a]pyrene and 1-nitropyrene were used as positive controls and gave results consistent with the literature. This paper provides a complete summary of the data collected during the collaborative study. Companion papers provide further analysis and interpretation of the results.

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Mutation Research/Reviews in Genetic Toxicology