After subcutaneous administration of dipropylnitrosamine (DPN) to Syrian hamsters, gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of the 16-h urine revealed the DPN metabolites, 2-hydroxypropyl-, 2-oxopropyl-, and methylpropylnitrosamines. In a related series of experiments, hamsters received equimolar doses of the above compounds and of N-nitrosobis(2-hydroxypropyl)-amine (BHP) and 2,2'-dimethyldipropylnitrosamine (DMDPN). The metabolites as well as BHP and DMDPN had a weaker effect than did DPN on the rate and/or latency of respiratory tumors. In the respiratory tract, the segmental tumor distribution and histological types varied according to the compounds. The metabolites of DPN induced additional tumors in the digestive tract. These experiments do not support the concept that the beta-oxidized metabolites of DPN are the proximate carcinogens of the parent compound.