The teratogenic and mutagenic effects of trichloroethylene (79016), perchloroethylene (127184), and carbon-disulfide (75150) were studied. Female rats and rabbits were exposed to airborne concentrations of 0, 100, or 500 parts per million (ppm) of trichloroethylene or perchloroethylene or 0, 20, or 40ppm of carbon- disulfide for 3 weeks preimpregnation and up to 30 days postgestation. Maternal and fetal examinations were performed after sacrifice. Mutagenic studies consisted of unscheduled DNA synthesis in human diploid WI-38 cells, mutation frequency in host mediated assays, sex linked recessive lethal mutation and loss of X or Y chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster, spermhead abnormality in rats and mice, chromosomal aberrations in rat bone marrow, and rat dominant lethal experiments. All three test substances were negative in rat and rabbit teratogenic studies, except for a few hydrocephalic fetuses in one group of rabbits exposed to trichloroethylene. Carbon disulfide was negative in all mutagenic tests. Trichloroethylene caused unscheduled DNA synthesis, spermhead abnormality in mice, and some weak or borderline responses in host mediated assay and Drosophila. Perchloroethylene caused spermhead abnormality in mice, positive responses in host mediated assay, and weak or borderline responses in tests for unscheduled DNA synthesis and bone marrow aberrations. The authors conclude that the test substances are not teratogenic, but that trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene are weak mutagens.
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