Mutations in gene p53 are the most common defects in lung cancer and may be a pathway through which environmental carcinogens initiate cancer. We investigated p53 mutations in lung cancers from uranium miners with high radon exposure. 16 (31%) of 52 large-cell and squamous-cell cancers from miners contained the same AGG to ATG transversion at codon 249, including cancers from 3 or 5 miners who had never smoked. This specific mutation has been reported in only 1 of 241 published p53 mutations from lung cancers. The codon 249 mutation may be a marker for radon-induced lung cancer.