Normal standards for pulmonary function in nonwhite populations are not presently available to occupational health workers. The present study examined differences in %FVC, FVC, FEV1/FVC, FEF 200-1200 and FEF 25-75% among whites, blacks, and American Indians. The sample consisted of 4209 job applicants to a textile company in southeastern United States. Multiple regression and analyses of covariance were employed to control differences in age, height, weight, and smoking status. Blacks were significantly lower in five of the six comparisons but higher in FEV1/FVC%. The pulmonary function measures of Indians fell generally between those of whites and blacks. Differences were observed between blacks and whites of both sexes regarding the effects of cigarette smoking. The need for race specific stardards was confirmed and the question of using smokers in the acquisition of normative data was raised.