International Programme on Chemical Safety

Mutagenicity testing

In 1996, IPCS produced harmonized methods for the prediction and quantification of human/mutagenic hazard. Otherwise known as the IPCS Qualitative Scheme for Mutagenicity, and published in the journal Mutation Research, this guidance has been widely used by chemical risk assessment authorities.

In April 2007, WHO convened an expert meeting to update the 1996 publication, taking into account recent developments in the field. A draft document was open for public and peer review comments until November 2007, and subsequently finalized at an expert meting in 2008. The updated Scheme focuses on the identification of mutagens and genotoxic carcinogens. Selection of appropriate in vitro and in vivo tests as well as a strategy for germ cell testing are described.

The Scheme is published in the article Mutagenicity testing for chemical risk assessment: update of the WHO/IPCS Harmonized Scheme in the journal Mutagenesis, and is available online.

Related publications

IPCS Harmonization of Methods for the Prediction and Quantification of Human Carcinogenic/Mutagenic Hazard, and for Indicating the Probable Mechanism of Action of Carcinogens, Mutation Research, 352 (1996): 153-157.