To determine a possible etiological role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in sinonasal papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas, it is necessary to investigate normal nasal mucosa of healthy persons for the presence of HPV. The material in the present study consists of 21 biopsies taken from the inferior concha of 21 otherwise healthy persons who underwent surgery for nose fractures or nasoseptal deviations. In addition, five inferior conchae were obtained from persons who had died of non-neoplastic diseases. HPV was not detected in any of these specimens, either by polymerase chain reaction or by in situ hybridization. Histologic evaluation showed that squamous metaplasia was a common finding in the biopsies. The presence of HPV in sinonasal papillomas and carcinomas may indicate that HPV is an etiological factor in these lesions.