Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Volume 2 (2002), Pages 1247-1253
Short Communication

Genotoxicity Studies in Groundwater, Surface Waters, and Contaminated Soil

Vito, Environmental Toxicology, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium

Received 20 November 2001; Revised 1 April 2002; Accepted 10 April 2002

Copyright © 2002 Luc Verschaeve.


It is at present considered important to include biological tests in measuring programmes of environmental samples to supplement the chemical and physical parameters that are currently used. A battery of tests is therefore necessary, also within a given “endpoint” (e.g., genotoxicity), because one single test will not give all the answers to our questions. As it is not possible to include all available tests in routine screening programmes, a selection of tests should be made. According to comparative investigations, the bacterial Ames test remains very important. When no preconcentration step is involved, other bacterial tests (e.g., the umu-C and VITOTOX® tests) may be recommended. The comet assay may be used in Daphnia or human white blood cells. Further validations, comparisons, mechanistic investigations, etc. remain necessary as differences are often found between the tests that are not solely explained by differences in genetic endpoint and that therefore should further be investigated and understood.