A collaborative study involving laboratories in six countries was initiated under the sponsorship of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) to determine the sensitivity, efficiency and reliability of the Vicia faba root tip meristem chromosomal aberration assay using a standardized protocol. The six Laboratories that participated in this study were located in the Slovak Republic, India, Japan, Poland, Sweden and the USA. All laboratories adhered to a standardized protocol for the Vicia faba chromosomal aberartion assay. Four coded chemicals, azidoglycerol (AG), N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), sodium azide (NaN3) and maleic hydrazide (MH) were tested with the Vicia faba chromosomal aberration assay. Of the four chemicals, three (MH, AG and MNU) were found to be clastogenic and gave a concentration related response. However, the results of NaN3 were equivocal which might be explained by the stability of NaN3. The conclusions from this study suggest that the Vicia faba chromosomal aberration bioassay is an efficient and reliable short-term bioassay for the rapid screening of chemicals for clastogenicity.
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