Sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) analysis was carried out in 67 operating room personnel (anaesthetists M.D.; anaesthesia nurses and anaesthesia unit technicians) exposed to waste anaesthetic gases such as halothane, nitrous oxide and isoflurane and in 50 healthy unexposed controls. The SCE frequencies were increased significantly in operating room personnel as compared to controls. A significant increase in SCEs was found in non-smoking operating room personnel as compared to non-smoking controls. This study supports the existence of an association between occupational exposure to mutagens and an increase in SCEs in lymphocytes.