Free radicals or reactive oxygen species are thought to contribute to the pathology of many diseases. These include inflammatory conditions, where neutrophils accumulate in large numbers and are stimulated to produce superoxide and other reactive oxidants. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl), produced by myeloperoxidase-catalysed oxidation of chloride by hydrogen peroxide, is the major strong oxidant generated by these cells. Neutrophil-mediated injury may also be important in toxicology when an initial insult is followed by an inflammatory response. It is important to characterize the inflammatory component of such injury and the extent to which it involves reactive oxidants. On the one hand, this requires an understanding of how neutrophil oxidants react with cells and tissue constituents. On the other, specific biomarkers are needed so that oxidative damage can be quantified in clinical material and related to disease severity. This presentation considers biologically relevant reactions of HOCl and the biomarker assays that can be applied to probing the pathological role of myeloperoxidase and its products.