In Xuan Wei, a rural Chinese county of about one million people, females' annual lung cancer mortality is China's highest, and males' is among China's highest. Xuan Wei's very high indoor air pollution levels (sometimes exceeding 20 mg/m3), residentially stable population, relatively uncomplicated lifestyle, and wide geographic variation in lung cancer mortality render it highly amenable to quantitative, interdisciplinary investigation of chemical carcinogens due to indoor air pollution. To date, epidemiologic findings reveal a closer association of lung cancer with the indoor burning of 'smoky' coal than with tobacco use or occupation. Current aerometric, chemical, and toxicologic findings tend to confirm this association. Chinese and American investigators are conducting interdisciplinary field and laboratory investigations to quantify the lung cancer risk attendant on indoor air pollution relative to other factors, to measure and compare the characteristics of pollution from different Xuan Wei fuels, to determine the relative etiologic importance of pollution composition and concentration, and to develop quantitative relationships between air pollution dose and lung cancer risk.