Abstract Piperonyl butoxide, alpha-[2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethoxy]-4,5-methylenedioxy-2-propyltoluene, is a pesticide synergist. F344 rats of both sex were maintained on diets containing 0, 0.6, 1.2 or 2.4% of piperonyl butoxide for 13 weeks. At the end of experimental period, they were necropsied. Selected organs were weighed and serum was analyzed by clinical chemistry. In male and female rats of the 2.4%-group, body weight gains were depressed, macroscopically, hepatomegaly was marked and liver weights were significantly higher than those of the control group. In male and female rats of all treated groups, relative kidney weights were significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner. Rats of the 2.4%-group had increased levels of albumin, cholesterol, urea nitrogen and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. Examination of livers of the male 2.4%-group by light microscopy showed enlarged hepatocytes with glassy cytoplasm and fatty deposition. On occasion, there was coagulative necrosis of a few hepatocytes in the periportal area and oval cell proliferation. The kidney of treated rats showed atrophy of epithelium in the proximal convoluted tubules. These results indicated that toxicity of piperonyl butoxide in rats was directed primarily to the liver and kidney.