In order to know the changes of genetic toxicological effects on workers occupationally exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), sister chromatic exchange(SCE) was detected by the methods of peripheral lymphocyte culture in 23 workers exposed to coal tar pitch (CTP) and in 19 workers exposed to coke oven volatiles (COV) and 12 normal controls. The results suggested that the SCE in occupational workers was significantly higher than that in controls (11.31 vs 6.37, P < 0.001). The SCE in workers exposed to CTP and to COV was higher than that of control (10.27 and 12.58 vs 6.37) respectively. In workers exposed to CTP and COV, there were no differences of SCE for smokers and nonsmokers (P > 0.05). It is indicated that CTP and COV caused strong genetic toxicity and injury to chromosome.