90Sr has a physical half-life of sufficient duration to make it a potentially dangerous contaminant from nuclear accidents and radioactive wastes. In the present study, the efficacy of 16 compounds as potential chelators of strontium was tested in vitro. Strontium solubilization from strontium carbonate and its distribution in an octanol-water system (Do/w) was determined in the absence and presence of alpha-ketoglutaric acid, Kryptofix 222, ethylenglycol-bis-(beta-amino-ethylether)-N,N-tetraacetic acid, diethylentriamine pentaacetic acid, Kryptofix 5, disodium chlodronate, disodium ethidronate, oxaloacetic acid, fumaric acid, D-gluconic acid, succinic acid, citric acid, D,L-2,3-diaminopropionic acid, 1,1-cyclohexanediacetic acid, tartaric acid, and trans-1,2-cy-clohexanediol. Kryptofix 222 and Kryptofix 5 significantly increased solubilized strontium, suggesting strontium chelation potential. Since in previous in vivo studies both compounds were also effective in the removal of strontium following internal contamination, it is concluded that the octanol-water system may be useful screening compounds with strontium chelation potential.