In the present study, in vitro cytotoxic and genotoxic effect of copper-zinc alloy nanoparticles (Cu-Zn ANPs) on human lung epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) were investigated. XTT test and clonogenic assay were used to determine cytotoxic effects. Cell death mode and intracellular reactive oxygen species formations were analyzed using M30, M65 and ROS Elisa assays. Genotoxic effects were evaluated using micronucleus, comet and gamma-H2AX foci assays. Cu-Zn ANPs were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and zeta potential measurements. Characterization of Cu-Zn ANPs showed an average size of 200 nm and zeta potential of -22 mV. TEM analyses further revealed the intracellular localization of Cu-Zn ANPs in cytoplasm within 24 h. Analysis of micronucleus, comet and gamma-H2AX foci counts showed that exposure to Cu-Zn ANPs significantly induced chromosomal damage as well as single and double stranded DNA damage in BEAS-2B cells. Our results further indicated that exposure to Cu-Zn ANPs significantly induced intracellular ROS formation. Evaluation of M30:M65 ratios suggested that cell death was predominantly due to necrosis. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.