Biological monitoring of genotoxic hazard in the rubber industry was performed in 19 male workers and 20 age-matched controls in a local health unit in northern Italy. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were analyzed for the presence of DNA damage (single-cell microgel-electrophoresis, or comet assay) and for cytogenetic parameters (sister chromatid exchanges and micronuclei frequency, and proliferative rate index). The following bioassays were performed in urine samples: a) mutagenicity test and concentration of thioethers as markers of exposure, and b) excretion of D-glucaric acid and 6-beta-hydroxycortisol (related to 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion) as indicators of the inductive status of the microsomal enzyme system (phase-I). The exposed subjects showed statistically higher mean values of 17-hydroxycorticosteroids and micronuclei and lower values of 6-beta-hydroxycortisol than controls, when taking cigarette smoking into account. The comet assay showed higher values for migration distance in exposed subjects than controls, although the differences were not significant at a p-value of 0.05. These findings suggest that industrial exposure in the rubber processing industry may cause genetic damage and may modify the activity level of some enzymes; these results should be considered with caution due to the small number of subjects enrolled.