The effects of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) M1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genotypes on lung function growth were investigated in 1,940 children enrolled in the Children's Health Study as fourth graders (aged 8-11 years) in two cohorts during 1993 and 1996 and were followed annually over a 4-year period. Genotypes for GSTM1 and GSTT1 and GSTP1 codon 105 variants (ile105 and val105) were determined using DNA from buccal cell specimens. We used two-level regression models to estimate the effects of GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genotypes on the adjusted annual average lung function growth. GSTM1 null was associated with deficits in annual growth rates for FVC (-0.21%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.40, -0.03) and FEV(1) (-0.27%; 95% CI, -0.50, -0.04). Children who were homozygous for the GSTP1 val105 allele had slower lung function growth (FVC -0.35%; 95% CI, -0.62, -0.07; and FEV(1) -0.34%; 95% CI, -0.68, 0.00) than children with one or more ile105 alleles. Children with asthma who were homozygous for the GSTP1 val105 allele had substantially larger deficits in FVC, FEV(1), and maximal mid-expiratory flow than children without asthma. The deficits in FVC and FEV(1) growth associated with both GSTM1 null and the GSTP1 val105 allele were largest and were statistically significant in non-Hispanic white children. We conclude that GSTM1 and GSTP1 genotypes are associated with lung function growth in school children.