The availability of genome-scale DNA sequence information and reagents has radically altered life-science research. This revolution has led to the development of a new scientific subdiscipline derived from a combination of the fields of toxicology and genomics. This subdiscipline, termed toxicogenomics, is concerned with the identification of potential human and environmental toxicants, and their putative mechanisms of action, through the use of genomics resources. One such resource is DNA microarrays or "chips," which allow the monitoring of the expression levels of thousands of genes simultaneously. Here we propose a general method by which gene expression, as measured by cDNA microarrays, can be used as a highly sensitive and informative marker for toxicity. Our purpose is to acquaint the reader with the development and current state of microarray technology and to present our view of the usefulness of microarrays to the field of toxicology.