The purpose of the study was to investigate the dermal absorption of chemicals applied to female F344 rats in different physical forms. These forms included chemical as a solid, aqueous paste, suspension or dissolved in the volatile vehicle ethanol. The chemicals investigated were radiolabeled 2-sec-butyl-3,5-dinitrophenol (DNBP), 2,4,5-2',4',5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (HCB) and 3,4,3',4',-tetrachlorobiphenyl. The chemicals were applied on the clipped mid-dorsal region of the rat over a 2.54 cm2 area and occluded. Urine and feces were collected and assayed for radioactivity. The animals were sacrificed 120 hr post-treatment by exsanguination. Radioactivity in the blood, skin (treated and untreated) and carcass was assayed. Dermal absorption of DNBP-derived radioactivity was approximately 50% of the recovered dose after application in the four physical forms and the major route of excretion was via the urine. The data indicate that for each chemical studied, dermal absorption occurs equally as well regardless of physical form.