Lead exposure was assessed in a random cohort of 70 male papier mâché workers and compared with 35 age and sex matched controls. Blood-lead levels in workers were significantly higher than in controls (Mean 68.07 +/- 44.64 ug/dl vs 25.52 +/- 16.56 ug/dl respectively; P < 0.001). Urinary lead was also higher in workers (128.53 +/- 52.61 ug/l) compared to controls (91.18 +/- 27.06, P < 0.001), but excretion of urinary coproporphyrin in the two groups was not significantly different (102.78 +/- 153.42 vs 70.03 +/- 27.06 ug/l, P > 0.05). Blood levels bore a significant correlation with age but did not bear any correlation with the duration of exposure. Various modes of exposure to lead included hand mixing of paints, skin application of the paint to match shades and making point of the brush using lips and the tongue.