Metal compounds were tested for their ability to induce chromosomal aberrations in cultured mammalian cells. Chromosomal aberrations were induced by the application of some Cr, Mn and Ni compounds. Among 6-valent Cr compounds, K2Cr2O7 and CrO3 induced high levels of aberrations, at rates which were similar for Cr-equivalent doses. The perchromate compounds were more efficient in producing chromosomal aberrations than was a chromate compound, K2CrO4. A 3-valent Cr compound, Cr2(SO4)3, was less toxic and failed to induce a demonstrable increase in chromosomal aberrations. KMnO4 induced aberrations, but at a low rate. As to Ni compounds, NiCl2 and (CH3COO)2Ni induced few aberrations. Administration of K2Ni(CN)4 induced only gaps. NiS induced a low but definite increase in chromosomal aberrations. The rate of these aberrations increased with an increase in treatment time from 24 to 48 h, indicating a time-dependent increase in the hereditable toxicity of metal compounds. CdCl2 and HgCl2 were somewhat toxic, but failed to induce chromosomal aberrations in the present study.