The exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was measured in a Finnish coking plant over a 7-year period (1988-1994), since the beginning of production. Hygienic measurements including dust and vapour sampling were performed and the correlations between the concentrations of airborne pyrene with the levels of pyrene metabolite 1-pyrenol in urine were calculated. The profile of measured 12 or 15 PAHs was very similar between mean concentrations of personal samples, which suggests that it is possible to calculate the concentrations of total PAH by using e.g. pyrene as a marker compound. Measurements suggest that the progress of working conditions has been very favourable because the mean exposure level of shift workers to benzo[a]pyrene has decreased from 2.5 micrograms/m3 to 0.3 micrograms/m3. This points to successful measures of technical prevention. The mean concentration of 1-pyrenol in urine has been 0.2-0.6 mumol/mol creatinine. The concentration increases slightly towards the end of the working day, but the correlation urinary pyrenol and air pyrene was weak. Therefore the usefulness of pyrenol level for predicting the pyrene concentration at low exposure level in the ambient air is very limited.