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Toxicology. 1990 Dec 17;65(1-2):1-22.

Genotoxicity evaluation of lithium hypochlorite.

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FMC Corporation, Chemical Research and Development Center, Princeton, NJ 08543.


Lithium hypochlorite (LiOCl), the pool and spa sanitizer/algicide, was evaluated for genotoxicity in a battery of studies designed to evaluate potential mutagenicity, DNA damage and chromosome aberrations. LiOCl was not mutagenic in the Ames test when tested in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, TA1537, TA1538 or in the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) mutation assay in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells without metabolic activation. LiOCl did not induce DNA damage in the unscheduled DNA synthesis assay using rat primary hepatocytes. Effects on metaphase chromosomes were evaluated in vitro in CHO cells at 12 and 18 h exposure without S9 and at 12 and 22 h following a 2 h exposure with S9. LiOCl induced a statistically significant increase in chromosome aberrations at the high dose only at both harvest times without S9 and at the late harvest time with S9. There were significant increases in chromosome aberrations at the low dose, low-mid and high doses, but not at the high mid-dose at the early harvest time with S9. However, LiOCl did not increase chromosome aberrations when tested orally in rats at maximally tolerated doses. Bone marrow cells, collected 6, 24 and 48 h after a single oral dose of LiOCl to rats (100, 500, 1000 mg/kg in males; 50, 250, 500 mg/kg in females) showed no increase in the incidence of aberrations. In general, the weight of the evidence indicates that LiOCl is not genotoxic.

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