The health effects of gasoline (8006619) sniffing, also known as the gasoline sniffing syndrome, are reviewed with emphasis on the social characteristics of users, acute effects, and epidemiological aspects. The acute inhalation of gasoline has been associated with a variety of symptoms depending on the level of exposure and duration of sniffing, such as light headedness, confusion, psychotic conditions, sudden death, neurological and encephalopathic disorders, peripheral motor neuropathies, etc. Cases of organolead compound poisoning associated with gasoline sniffing have been shown to have blood lead (7439921) levels higher than 100 micrograms per deciliter. Signs of organic lead poisoning, mostly neurological manifestations, have been detected in children and adolescents who were sniffing gasoline for periods ranging from 6 months to 5 years; treatment with chelating agents resulted in hematological and symptomatic improvement. Reported long term effects of chronic gasoline inhalation are anorexia, body weight loss, muscular weakness, cramps and neurasthenia. Epidemiological data have revealed that gasoline sniffing is more frequent among male adolescents, being predominantly a peer group activity. Screening studies of adolescent populations have indicated that the mean blood delta-aminolevulinic-acid-dehydrogenase levels may be effectively used in the diagnosis of the condition. The possible effects resulting from the daily release of lead from automobile fumes are discussed briefly.