In vitro effects of the carbamates pirimicarb and zineb and their formulations Aficida® (50% pirimicarb) and Azzurro® (70% zineb), respectively, were evaluated in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) cells. Whereas the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus cytome assay was employed to test for genotoxicity, MTT, neutral red (NR), and apoptosis evaluation were used as tests for estimating cell viability and succinic dehydrogenase activity, respectively. Concentrations tested were 10-300 μg/ml for pirimicarb and Aficida®, and 1-50 μg/ml for zineb and Azzurro®. All compounds were able to increase the frequency of micronuclei. A marked reduction in the nuclear division index was observed after treatment with 5 μg/ml of zineb and Azzurro® and 10 μg/ml of Azzurro®. Alterations in the cellular morphology not allowing the recognition of binucleated cells exposed to 300 μg/ml pirimicarb and Aficida® as well as 10-50 μg/ml zineb and Azzurro®. All four compounds induced inhibition of both cell viability and succinic dehydrogenase activity and trigger apoptosis in CHO-K1 cells, at least when exposed for 24 h. The data herein demonstrate the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects exerted by these carbamates and reveal the potential risk factor of these pesticides, still extensively used worldwide, for both human health and the environment.