In a chemical plant, ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) were used for the production of surfactants for the textile industry. Within health supervision, we investigated the internal exposure of the workers using hemoglobin adducts as parameters of biochemical effects. The 95th percentile for N-2-hydroxyethylvaline (HEV) was 1280 pmol/g globin (=29.4 microg/l blood) in blood from exposed workers compared with 100 pmol/g globin (or 2.3 microg/l) in controls. N-(R,S)-2-hydroxypropylvaline (HPV) both in workers and controls was below the detection limit (80 pmol/g globin or 2 microg/l). The levels of the adducts of acrylonitrile (ACN) and acrylamide (AA) were also determined, though they were mainly accounted for by smoking and diet. Median values of N-2-cyanoethylvaline (CEV) were below 4 pmol/g globin (or 0.1 microg/l) in non-smokers (n=24) and 131 pmol/g globin (or 3.3 microg/l) in smokers (n=38). Median values of N-2-carbamoylethylvaline (AAV) were 22 pmol/g globin (or 0.6 microg/l) in non-smokers compared with 89 pmol/g globin (or 2.4 microg/l) in smokers. Correlations were found between smoking habits and adduct levels of CEV and AAV.