The effect of potential risk factors for acute myeloid leukemia was evaluated in a case-referent study encompassing 59 cases and 354 referents, all of whom were alive. Information on exposure was obtained through a questionnaire mailed to the subjects. The possible effect of background radiation was evaluated by means of a gamma radiation index, which accounted for the differences between cases and referents in this respect, i.e., in time spent in concrete buildings both at home and at work places. In the 20-54 yr old age group, there was an association between leukemia morbidity and index of background radiation. X-ray treatment and electrical work were also associated with increased rate ratios. With regard to solvents, only styrene appeared as a risk factor, but the number of exposed subjects was small. Other exposures were less clearly associated with increased risks.