The use of strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium with different metabolic capacities can indicate the class or classes of compounds present in an environmental sample and enable the diagnosis of the mutagenic activity of these pollutants adsorbed on particulate matter (PM) in the air. In the present study, the sensitivity of Salmonella strains TA98NR, TA98/1,8-DNP6, YG1021, and YG1024 to detect nitro compounds adsorbed on samples of PM 2.5 was compared from three sites in Rio de Janeiro city. Samples were collected using a high-volume sampler at three sites: one with light traffic and two with heavy traffic. The assays were performed in the presence of 10-50 μg/ plate organic extracts with and without exogenous metabolization. The YG1021 and YG1024 strains showed the highest rev/m3 values, confirming their enhanced sensitivity. As YG1024 also demonstrated sensitivity to nitro and amino compounds, we suggest its use in research into environmental contamination.