The Fifth Annual Report to Congress describes the activities of the Task Force on Environmental Cancer and Heart and Lung Disease between September 1981 and August 1982. The Task Force recommendations to Congress are: (1) continued operation of the National Death Index under NCHS, (2) development of effective procedures to minimize or remove legal impediments to epidemiologic research at both the Federal and non-Federal levels, and (3) promotion of the education of medical and other health care students and practitioners in environmental disease prevention through the coordination of efforts and joint initiatives by the professional medical organizations and Federal Agencies. Also included in the report are brief overviews of selected current assessments of the link between environmental factors and human cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Current Federal activities in disease prevention are summarized, and an update of the environmental disease research activities and research priorities of each member Agency is provided. The full scope of Working Group and Project Group activities are described and future directions are suggested.