Mutation research

In vitro genotoxicity of dimethyl terephthalate.

PMID 2000099


Dimethyl terephthalate (DMTP), the para configuration of dimethyl phthalate, is one of the basic monomers used in the synthesis of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics. Human exposure to DMTP may primarily occur during the manufacture of PET fibers and films. The mutagenic potential of dimethyl terephthalate was evaluated using a battery of in vitro short-term tests: the Ames test; DNA single-strand break assays in CO60 cells and in primary rat hepatocytes; UDS in HeLa cells; chromosome aberration and micronucleus assays in human peripheral blood lymphocytes; selective DNA amplification in CO60 and in Syrian hamster embryo cells. The results of this battery of in vitro assays clearly show that DMTP is nongenotoxic. By contrast, other authors have found DMTP to be an in vivo clastogenic compound and suggested that the mechanisms involved in these in vivo effects seem to have nothing in common with genotoxicity and are still unknown.