OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to evaluate the cytotoxicity of gallium arsenide(GaAs), indium phosphide(InP) and indium arsenide(InAs) all of which are used as the semiconductor eletments in semiconductor industry. METHODS: Cytotoxicity in the alveolar macrophage was evaluated by the measurement of in vitro magnetometry, LDH release assay and histological examination. RESULTS: The relaxation curves by the in vitro magnetometry showed that GaAs has the cytotoxicity for the alveolar macrophage which is more significant in the higher dosages, while this cytotoxicity is not appeared in the groups added with InP or InAs or PBS. In the decay constant for two minutes after magnetization, GaAs-added groups showed a significant decrease with increasing doses, but both InP- and InAs-added groups did not show any significance. The LDH release assay showed a dose-dependent increasing tendency in the GaAs-, InP- and InAs-added groups. In terms of cellular morphological changes, GaAs-added groups revealed such severe cellular damages as prominent destructions in cell membranes and their morphological changes of nucleus, while InP- and InAs-added groups remained intact in intracellular structures, except for cytoplasmic degenerations. CONCLUSIONS: It is suggested that GaAs is more influential to cytotoxicity of alveolar macrophages than InP and InAs.