In vivo and in vitro studies of the clastogenic effects of power frequency electric fields and transient electric currents have been performed. For the in vivo investigation peripheral lymphocytes from twenty switchyard workers were screened for chromosome anomalies. The rates of chromatid and chromosome breaks were found to be significantly increased compared to the rates in 17 controls. Exposure of human peripheral lymphocytes, in vitro, to a 50-Hz current with 1 mA/cm2 current density did not induce any chromosome damage. Exposure to ten 3 mus-long spark discharge pulses with a peak field strength in the samples of 3.5 kV/cm, however, resulted in chromosome breaks at a frequency similar to that induced in lymphocytes in vitro by ionizing radiation at 0.75 Gy. The biological significance of chromosomal damage induced in somatic cells is discussed.