The chlorinated acetaldehydes, chloral hydrate (CH) and 2-chloroacetaldehyde (CAA), have been identified as chlorination by-products in finished drinking water supplies. Although both chemicals are genotoxic, their potential for carcinogenicity had not been adequately explored. The studies reported here are chronic bioassays conducted with male B6C3F1 mice exposed to levels of 1 g/liter CH and 0.1 g/liter CAA via the drinking water for 104 weeks. Distilled water (H2O) served as the untreated control and dichloroacetic acid (DCA; 0.5 g/liter), another chlorine disinfection by-product, was included. The mean daily ingested doses were approximately 166 mg/kg/day for CH, 17 mg/kg/day for CAA, and 93 mg/kg/day for DCA. Evaluations included mortality, body weight, organ weights, gross pathology, and histopathology. The primary target organ was the liver as the organ weights and pathological changes in the other organs (spleen, kidneys, and testes) were comparable between the treated groups and the H2O control group. Liver weights were increased for all three test chemicals at the terminal euthanasia with the greatest increase seen in the CH and DCA groups. Hepatocellular necrosis was induced by all three test chemicals, and it was also most prevalent and severe in the CH and DCA groups. A significant increase in the prevalence of liver tumors was seen for all three chemicals. The strongest response was with DCA, in which 63% of the 104-week survivors had hepatocellular carcinomas (carcinomas) and 42% possessed hepatocellular adenomas (adenomas) and the combined prevalence for carcinomas plus adenoma was 75%. The corresponding prevalence rate for carcinomas, adenomas, and combined tumors were 46, 29, and 71%; 31, 8, and 38%; and 10, 5, and 15% for CH, CAA, and H2O, respectively. In addition to the tumors we evaluated the prevalence of a possible preneoplastic lesion, the hepatocellular hyperplastic nodule (nodules), a lesion which occurred in all three treated groups but not in the H2O group.