The Salmonella-microsome assay for mutagenesis was used to determine the effect of ozone on the mutagenesis of selected carcinogens and mutagens in water. Short periods of ozonation were shown to completely inactivate the mutagenicity of several polyaromatic amine mutagens including acriflavine, proflavine, and β-naphthylamine. Selected polyaromatic hydrocarbons were also sensitive to ozonation. Kinetic studies revealed that the mutagenicity of benzo(a)pyrene, 3-methylcholanthrene, and 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene was destroyed after short periods of ozonation. To correlate loss of mutagenicity with loss of carcinogenicity, two polyaromatic hydrocarbons were treated with ozone, extracted from water with hexane, and tested for carcinogenicity in mice. When 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and 3-methyl-cholanthrene were treated with ozone, there was a substantial reduction in carcinogenicity compared to control groups treated with oxygen alone. However, a small number of tumors developed in the group of animals receiving a hexane extract of ozonated 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene. This activity may be due to breakdown products of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene that are not mutagenic.
Supported by a grant from TII, Ecology Division, Lindenhurst, N.Y.