We have applied synchronous fluorescence spectrophotometry (SFS) to study benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE)-DNA adducts in biological samples. Adducts are measured as benzo[a]pyrene (BP) tetrols after acid hydrolysis, and give a peak at 374 nm of emission with a 34-nm wavelength difference. In vitro and in animal studies, there is a positive correlation between the amount of adducts and the BP dose. In cell culture studies, the amount of adducts is increased by increasing both the dose of BP and the time of culture with BP. In preliminary human studies, BPDE-DNA has been found by SFS in placental DNA from some but not all smoking mothers and in blood cell DNA from some individuals in occupationally exposed groups.