Occupational exposure to arylamines in industrial settings was the first known cause of bladder cancer in humans. In the United States and many developed countries, these industrial dyes have been under strict government control for decades and are believed to contribute minimally to today's population burden of bladder cancer in the West. The two other recognized, and potentially substantial sources of human exposure to arylamines are cigarette smoking and use of hair dyes. This paper reviews the latest epidemiologic findings on the relationships between smoking, hair dye use and bladder cancer risk. Results support the notion that arylamines contained in cigarette smoke and permanent hair dyes are human carcinogens. Furthermore, women may experience higher bladder cancer risk than men from comparable arylamine exposure, possibly due in part to women's higher propensity for arylamine activation relative to men.