Benzene is a recognized haematotoxin and leukaemogen, but its mechanism of action and the role of genetic susceptibility are still unclear. Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) are involved in benzene activation; and NAD (P)H:quinine oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), glutathione S-transferase theta 1 (GSTT1) and glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) participate in benzene detoxification. The common, well-studied single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analysed in these genes drawn from the toxicant-metabolizing pathways. A total of 100 workers with chronic benzene poisoning (CBP) and 90 controls were enrolled in China. There was a 2.82-fold (95% CI = 1.42-5.58) increased risk of CBP in the subjects with the NQO1 609C > T mutation genotype (T/T) compared with those carrying heterozygous (C/T) and wild-type (C/C). The subjects with the GSTT1 null genotype had a 1.91-fold (95% CI = 1.05-3.45) increased risk of CBP compared with those with GSTT1 non-null genotype. There was no association of CYP2E1 and MPO genotype with CBP. A three genes' interaction showed that there was a 20.41-fold (95% CI = 3.79-111.11) increased risk of CBP in subjects with the NQO1 609C > T T/T genotype and with the GSTT1 null genotype and the GSTM1 null genotype compared with those carrying the NQO1 609C > T C/T and C/C genotype, GSTT1 non-null genotype, and GSTM1 non-null genotype. The study provides evidence of an association of a gene-gene interaction with the risk of CBP.