A method for separating nonpolar mutagens from their dilute aqueous solutions is described. It utilizes the affinity of the mutagens to a phthalocyanine derivative attached to cotton through a covalent bond. For mutagens having 3 or more fused aromatic rings in their structures, efficient adsorption took place on soaking the cotton in their solutions. The mutagens adsorbed can be recovered by elution with ammoniacal methanol. Mutagenicity in smoker's urine, cooked beef, and river water was detected by use of this method.
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