A wealth of recent studies points to the importance of airway epithelial cells in the orchestration of inflammatory responses in the allergic inflamed lung. Studies also point to a role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory diseases. This article provides a perspective on the significance of airway epithelial cells in allergic inflammation, and reviews the relevance of the transcription factor, nuclear factor kappaB, herein. We also provide the reader with a perspective on the role that oxidants can play in lung homeostasis, and address the concept of "redox biology." In addition, we review recent evidence that highlights potential inhibitory roles of oxidants on nuclear factor kappaB activation and inflammation, and discuss recent assays that have become available to probe the functional roles of oxidants in lung biology.