The Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project is a federally mandated, population-based case-control study to determine whether breast cancer risk among women in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, NY, is associated with selected environmental exposures, assessed by blood samples, self-reports, and environmental home samples. This report describes the collaborative project's background, rationale, methods, participation rates, and distributions of known risk factors for breast cancer by case-control status, by blood donation, and by availability of environmental home samples. Interview response rates among eligible cases and controls were 82.1% (n = 1,508) and 62.8% (n = 1,556), respectively. Among case and control respondents who completed the interviewer-administered questionnaire, 98.2 and 97.6% self-completed the food frequency questionnaire; 73.0 and 73.3% donated a blood sample; and 93.0 and 83.3% donated a urine sample. Among a random sample of case and control respondents who are long-term residents, samples of dust (83.6 and 83.0%); soil (93.5 and 89.7%); and water (94.3 and 93.9%) were collected. Established risk factors for breast cancer that were found to increase risk among Long Island women include lower parity, late age at first birth, little or no breast feeding, and family history of breast cancer. Factors that were found to be associated with a decreased likelihood that a respondent would donate blood include increasing age and past smoking; factors associated with an increased probability include white or other race, alcohol use, ever breastfed, ever use of hormone replacement therapy, ever use of oral contraceptives, and ever had a mammogram. Long-term residents (defined as 15+ years in the interview home) with environmental home samples did not differ from other long-term residents, although there were a number of differences in risk factor distributions between long-term residents and other participants, as anticipated.