The major impact of an increase in genetic damage will be expressed as an increase in autosomal dominant and X-linked traits as well as chromosomal disorders. The present incidence of dominant traits has been estimated at 1% of live births, but recent data from British Columbia indicate the true value in that population may be an order of magnitude lower. These estimates are important if one measures the damage in terms of doubling dose. Neither the average mutation rate nor the number of loci capable of mutating to dominant detrimental form is known. Mutations that cause sterility or early embryonic loss are detrimental in the Darwinian sense but have little impact on society. Mutations that are more fit biologically may be a heavy burden to society if the affected persons require medical or institutional care. Since exposure to some mutagens is unavoidable, these factors must ultimately be included in a cost-benefit analysis.