Genital warts and intraepithelial neoplasia caused by infection with human papillomavirus are usually treated with CO2 laser or electrocoagulation. In this study, contamination of personnel and operating theatres with human papillomavirus DNA during treatment sessions was investigated. Samples were taken from the nostrils, nasolabial folds and conjunctiva of the operating physician before and after operating sessions and from Petri dishes left open in the operating theatres. Human papillomavirus DNA was demonstrated by the polymerase chain reaction technique. The results show that there is a risk of contamination of the operator by human papillomavirus DNA, detectable with the polymerase chain reaction technique, during both CO2 laser and electrocoagulation treatment.