The mutagenic achievement of certain chemical agents was first discovered in the former USSR. In 1946, the mutagenic properties of formaldehyde and mustard gas were discovered. Since then, many hundreds of chemical mutagens have been established.
It’s only in microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) that some chemical mutagens can drastically increase the mutation rate of certain genes over the mutation rate of the other genes. Chemical mutagens are responsible for a greater number of mutations than are physical mutagens.
Chemical mutagens have been proven to increase the rate of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities by as much as 100 times higher than the typical rate for spontaneous mutations. Simply said, the introduction of chemical agents “super-charges” the speed of mutation in a host organism.