6-Nitrobenzo[alpha]pyrene (6-NBaP) occurs in our environment. Since human exposure to environmental contaminants may occur via the inhalation route, we examined the metabolites of 6-NBaP formed in lung preparations, and compared the metabolite profile to that which was found with liver. The metabolites formed in both liver and lung preparations consisted of ring-hydroxylated 6-NBaP, 6-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (6-OHBaP) and small amounts of benzo[a]pyrene. In the lung experiments, 6-OHBaP most frequently oxidized to quinones. The mechanism for the formation of 6-OHBaP from 6-NBaP remains to be elucidated.