Although simplified and improved techniques have increased at a fast rate in recent years, a great number of compounds released into our environment still remain untested. It has been estimated that between 80-90% of human cancer is a result of exposure to such compounds, and if by the application of short-term mutagenic tests, the use of many of these compounds can be severely restricted, an enormous impact can be made on the solution of human health problems. Batteries of mutagenic tests have established an empirical relationship between mutagenisis and carcinogenisis, and, in view of the cost in terms of time and money, short-term tests are playing an important role in first detecting, and second, eliminating potential hazards in our environment. The use of bacteria and other unicellular organisms in these assay systems has met with much criticism; due to the fact that the DNA materials affected do not directly relate to that of man. However, in conjunction with other tests, utilizing human and other mammalian cells, firm conclusions can be drawn regarding the potential hazards of certain chemicals. Recent advances in cytogenetic tests (e.g., banding chromosomes and sister chromatid exchange) have improved the sensitivity of chromosomal tests and, in so doing, have rendered them more usual in the selecting out process that can reduce substantially the mutagenic and carcinogenic hazards caused by chemicals and other deleterious agents in the environment.