The rice herbicide propanil induces alterations in the mouse immune system, causing significant decreases in T cell-dependent and T cell-independent antibody responses. This postemergent herbicide is used extensively in rice production in the Mississippi River delta region of the southern United States. The aerial application and airborne drift of propanil may pose health concerns to exposed farm families living adjacent to sprayed rice fields. To determine if aerial spraying of propanil increases risks of altered immune responses in families bordering rice fields, immune parameters were assessed during a 2-year study. Families living within 100 yards of rice fields were compared in a case control study to farm families whose homes exceeded 1 mile from any rice field. Blood was analyzed in adults (n = 56) and children (n = 52) at three time intervals: (1) preseason, prior to propanil application; (2) 5-7 days after aerial application of propanil to rice fields; and (3) postseason, following harvest. Exposed adults and children were compared with controls for a number of immune parameters. Total cell count and the percentage of various lymphocytes (T cells, B cells, CD4+ helper cells, and CD8+ suppressor cells) and natural killer (NK) cells, mitogen-induced cell proliferation, cytokine (IL-2+) production, and NK cell function were assessed. A comparison of immune function between exposed and nonexposed farm families showed no significant differences, possibly related to propanil exposure. However, some immune test parameters changed as a function of season rather than propanil exposure. The data indicate that individuals living next to rice fields are not at increased risk of altered immune function due to propanil exposure.