The authors carried out a cytogenetic examination of chromosomal aberrations of peripheral lymphocytes (100 cells evaluated in each sample) with simultaneous monitoring of the level of exposure by means of determination of nickel in the urine, serum and hair. The series included 21 workers occupationally exposed to nickel at two workshops producing NiO (6 persons) and NiSO4 (15 persons) in a chemical plant. At the same time a comparable control group, i.e., 19 workers of the same chemical plant but without any direct occupational nickel exposure (clerks, service men, etc.), were examined in the same way. In the exposed group chromosomal aberrations of peripheral lymphocytes were detected with an average value of 6.41 +/- 1.9% (range 2-14%); in the group producing NiO it was, on the average, 9.5 +/- 3.2% (range 7-14%) whereas in the NiSO4 production workers it was only 5.2 +/- 1.9% (range 2-10%). There was a dependence of chromosomal aberrations of peripheral lymphocytes on the exposure time and on the nickel content of the biological material. Significantly increased values (in contrast to the normal value of chromosomal aberrations of peripheral lymphocytes, up to 2%) were detected in the control group as well (average value of 4.05 +/- 2.27%, range 1-10%). The authors explain this fact by the nickel-polluted environment of the whole observed chemical plant.