The meristematic mitotic cells of Allium cepa is an efficient cytogenetic material for chromosome aberration assay on environmental pollutants. For assessing genotoxicity of pentachlorophenol (PCP), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2-chloro-2,6-diethyl-N-(butoxymethyl) acetanilide (butachlor), 50% effective concentration (EC(50)), c-mitosis, stickiness, chromosome breaks and mitotic index (MI) were used as endpoints of genotoxicity. EC(50) values for PCP and butachlor are 0.73 and 5.13 ppm, respectively. 2,4-D evidently induced morphological changes at higher concentrations. Some changes like crochet hooks, c-tumours and broken roots were unique to 2,4-D at 5-20 ppm. No such abnormalities were found in PCP and butachlor treated groups, however, root deteriorated and degenerated at higher concentrations (<3 ppm) in PCP. MI in 2,4-D showed a low average of 14.32% followed by PCP (19.53%), while in butachlor it was recorded 71.6%, which is near to the control value. All chemicals induced chromosome aberrations at statistically significant level. The highest chromosome aberration frequency (11.90%) was recorded in PCP at 3 ppm. Large number of c-mitotic anaphases indicated that butachlor acts as potent spindle inhibitor, whereas, breaks, bridges, stickiness and laggards were most frequently found in PCP showing that it is a potent clastogen.