Design and implementation of a collaborative study of the mutagenicity of complex mixtures in Salmonella typhimurium
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In 1987, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S. NIST) initiated an international collaborative study of the mutagenicity of complex environmental mixtures in the Ames Salmonella typhimurium mutation assay. The objectives of this study were: (1) to estimate the inter- and intea-laboratory variability associated with the extraction of mixtures for bioassay, (2) to estimate the inter- and intea-laboratory variability associated with the Salmonella typhimurium bioassay when applied to complex mixtures, and (3) to determine whether standard reference complex mixtures would be useful in mutagenicity studies and to evaluate whether reference or certified mutagenicity values determined from this collaborative study should be reported. The complex mixtures used in this study were selected from standard reference materials (SRMs) which had previously been issued by the U.S. NIST as SRM 1597 (coal tar), SRM 1649 (diesel particulate matter) and SRM 1650 (urban air particulate matter) with certified values for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These SRM complex mixtures are available to scientists as reference standards for analytical chemistry research and are under consideration as SRMs for mutagenicity studies of complex environmental mixtures. This paper briefly describes the final study design, protocol, selection of the complex mixtures, and implementation of this international study.