This study was conducted in January 2001, in Bursa, Turkey. Of the 99 traffic policemen who were included in the study, 21 were office workers. Blood lead levels were determined by using an electro-thermal atomic absorption spectrometer (ET-AAS). Average blood lead levels were 9.4 +/- 1.6 micrograms/l and 8.7 +/- 1.7 micrograms/l for policemen working outdoors and indoors, respectively. The difference between the two groups was statistically insignificant (P > 0.05). When policemen less than 15 years on duty were taken into account (n = 48) the difference between the outdoors and indoors working groups was significant (9.3 +/- 1.3 and 8.2 +/- 1.8 micrograms/l, P < 0.05). In order to prevent the negative effects of tetraethyl lead on humans and the environment the use of lead in petrol must be prohibited.