The chemopreventive effects of decaffeinated green and black tea treatment on liver and lung tumorigenesis were examined in carcinogen-treated mice. Male C3H mice were given decaffeinated green or decaffeinated black tea in their drinking water prior to, during, and after treatment with diethylnitrosamine (50 micrograms/kg bw, i.p., once per week for 8 weeks). After 40 weeks of tea treatment, mice were sampled and examined for pulmonary and hepatic tumors. Mice treated with both DENA and tea displayed a significant decrease in the mean number of lung and liver tumors compared to DENA-only treated animals. Mice that received 0.63 or 1.25% green tea or 1.25% black tea exhibited a reduction in liver tumor numbers of 54, 50, and 63%, respectively from that seen in the DENA-only treated mice. Tea treatment also significantly decreased the multiplicity of lung adenomas. Mice receiving DENA and either 0.63 or 1.25% green tea or 1.25% black tea showed a decrease in the mean number of lung tumors of 40, 46, and 34%, respectively, from DENA-only treated mice. While a possible association between the chemopreventive activity of tea on lung tumor response and the concentration of (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in the tea was suggested, no apparent relationship between EGCG concentration and liver tumor response was seen, however. These results show a dose-dependent chemoprevention of both lung and liver tumors by both black and green tea in diethylnitrosamine-treated C3H mice.