It has long been recognized that a large degree of species differences exists among drug and carcinogen metabolizing enzymes. In particular, differences in cytochrome P450s, the principal enzymes of metabolic activation of procarcinogens, are widespread and may determine species and individual susceptibility to cancer causing chemicals. Although species differences in both the regulation and catalytic activities of P450s are quite large, roden-based systems are mainly used as the means to determine the degree of hazard of environmental pollutants, pesticides, drugs and other environmental chemicals to humans. During recent years, a large effort has been expended on analyzing directly the structure, properties and catalytic activities of P450s from human tissues. In vitro mutagen testing systems, based on activation by human P450s, are being developed that will supplement other test systems in order to more accurately predict human risk to chemical exposure.