The mutagens produced through chemical reaction between chlorine and the insecticide fenitrothion were studied by using a quadrupole GC-MS. The mutagenicity and the mutagen formation potential (MFP) of the identified by-products were evaluated by the Ames assay (preincubation method) using Salmonella typhimurium TA100 without exogenous activation by S9 mix (TA100-S9). Before conducting GC/MS analyses, six compounds were presumed to be produced in chlorinated fenitrothion. These compounds were confirmed to be produced by the GC/MS analyses, but none of them were mutagenic. One of the chlorination by-products, 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol, has 19 times greater MFP than that of fenitrothion. This result suggests that a major mutagen in chlorinated fenitrothion will be produced via a chemical reaction between chlorine and 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol.
Keywords: Ames assay, chlorination by-products, GC/MS, mutagen formation potential (MFP), pesticide