The purpose of these guidelines is to provide concise guidance on the planning, performing and interpretation of studies to monitor groups or individuals exposed to genotoxic agents. Most human carcinogens are genotoxic but not all genotoxic agents have been shown to be carcinogenic in humans. Although the main interest in these studies is due to the association of genotoxicity with carcinogenicity, there is also an inherent interest in monitoring human genotoxicity independently of cancer as an endpoint.The most often studied genotoxicity endpoints have been selected for inclusion in this document and they are structural and numerical chromosomal aberrations assessed using cytogenetic methods (classical chromosomal aberration analysis (CA), fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), micronuclei (MN)); DNA damage (adducts, strand breaks, crosslinking, alkali-labile sites) assessed using bio-chemical/electrophoretic assays or sister chromatid exchanges (SCE); protein adducts; and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) mutations. The document does not consider germ cells or gene mutation assays other than HPRT or markers of oxidative stress, which have been applied on a more limited scale. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.