The main goal of the Collaborative Study Group for the Micronucleus Test (CSGMT) was to validate a new method for the micronucleus test, recently introduced by Hayashi et al. (1990), using mouse peripheral blood cells stained supravitally with acridine orange (AO). The micronucleus tests were performed on CD-1 mice using 23 chemicals with various modes of action. As a rule, one chemical was studied by two participants. Peripheral blood sampled from the same animal was examined 0, 24, 48, and 72 h (or longer) after treatment. The frequencies of micronucleated peripheral reticulocytes (MNRETs) were recorded based on observation of 1000 reticulocytes per mouse. All chemicals induced MNRETs dose-dependently. Interlaboratory differences in the induction of MNRETs were in an acceptable range for most chemicals tested. Although differences were observed with some chemicals, there were no discrepancies in qualitative judgment. Most chemicals gave the greatest response 48 h after treatment, which was less variable than in the bone marrow assay (greatest response, 24-48 h). These results suggest that the peripheral blood assay using the AO supravital staining technique generates reproducible and reliable data to evaluate the clastogenicity of chemicals. This makes the peripheral blood micronucleus assay an attractive alternative to the conventional bone marrow assay.