Two different solvents (acetone and dichloromethane) were compared for their efficacy in extraction of mutagenic compounds from airborne particulate samples. Their mutagenicity was examined with Salmonella typhimurium TA98 in presence or absence of S9 mix. The total mutagenic activity of the acetone extract was 1.8-7.0-fold that of the dichloromethane extract. The content of 1-nitropyrene, 1,6-dinitropyrene, dibenzo[a,h]anthracene and indo[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene in acetone extracts of airborne particulate samples was 3.8-, 3.6-, 6.6- and 1135-fold that of dichloromethane extracts, respectively. 1,8-Dinitropyrene, benzo[a]pyrene, chrysene, benzo[a]fluoranthene, benzo [a] anthracene, and benzo[g,h,i]perylene were found in the acetone extract, but were negative in the dichloromethane extract under the same conditions. However, the amount of pyrene in the dichloromethane extract was much higher than in the acetone extract. These results indicate that the extraction efficacy of 1-nitropyrene, dinitropyrenes and benzo[a]pyrene is higher with acetone than with dichloromethane. This may be the reason why acetone is the most effective solvent in extraction of mutagens from airborne particulate samples.
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