The augmentative effects of several pesticides on histamine release from mast cells of rats that had been sensitized passively by anti-dinitrophenol (DNP) monoclonal IgE antibodies were investigated in vitro. Various pesticides, especially phenthoate (PAP), chlornitrofen (CNP) and paraquat (PQ), increased histamine release. This increase was not observed in histamine release with non-antigen or induction by calcium ionophore A23187 or compound 48/80. Passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) was examined, and an increase of PCA was observed with PAP and PQ, but not with CNP, while an increase of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production was observed with CNP and PQ, but not PAP. These results suggest that various pesticides as environmental pollutants exacerbate allergic diseases.