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Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

The mutagenicity of the chemicals of the cyanide family has been investigated in gene mutation assays in bacteria and mammalian cell lines using a variety of methods to induce metabolic activation. Cytotoxicity has been observed at the highest test concentrations. The studies of Hébert (1993), Monsanto (1983a) and Zeiger et al (1988) are considered to be the key studies for gene mutation in bacteria; for mammalian cells this is the HPRT test by Godek (1983). An in vitro Ames test with HCN in S. typhimurium strains TA1537, TA1538 and TA98 for detection of frame shift mutation and TA1535 and TA100 for base-pair substitutions was performed with and without metabolic activation. There was no indication of mutagenic activity of HCN under these conditions (Leuschner et al, 1983a cited by WHO, 1993). Chinese hamsters were orally dosed with HCN and preparations of metaphase cells were studied for structural chromosome aberrations. The incidence of aberrations or gaps was within the spontaneous range. Neither multiple aberrations nor pulverised metaphases were found. There was no indication of mutagenic properties relative to structural chromatid or chromosome damage in vivo (Leuschner et al, 1983b cited by WHO, 1993).

Endpoint Conclusion: No adverse effect observed (negative)

Justification for classification or non-classification

Mutagenicity studies performed similar to/according to OECD guidelines indicate that HCN and related cyanides are not mutagenic.

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