The aromatic compounds phenyl benzoate (PB), phenyl salicylate (PS), and biphenyl (BP), which have previously been found to leach from poly(methyl methacrylate) denture base materials, were tested for cytotoxicity and biologic effects by L929 cells in culture. The octanol-water partition coefficient (log P(ow), a descriptor for the lipophilicity, was determined for the compounds. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by total cell growth and the plating efficiency test, and biologic effects by the total fatty acid composition of L929 cells. The commonly used tests, total cell growth and plating efficiency, did not show any significant changes of the cells due to the compounds. On the other hand, BP and PS, in particular, induced changes in the total fatty acid composition of L929 cells. The problem of bioavailability of aromatic compounds in cell culture assays and the relation to lipophilicity was addressed.