Studies were undertaken to examine the effects of animal age on the anticarcinogenic properties of antioxidants. Female hairless mice, 2.5, 4.5 and 9.5 months of age, were subjected to daily irradiation from Westinghouse BZS-WLG lamps for 19 weeks. Experimental groups of animals were maintained on a commercial rodent meal supplemented with a 2% (w/w) antioxidant mixture. Control groups received only the meal. Tumour latency, expressed as median time to tumor development, was significantly greater for all age groups receiving antioxidants than for their similarly aged controls. However, the response to antioxidants appeared to decrease with age and the antioxidant effect was significantly less in the 9.5 month-old group than in the 2.5 month-old group. Likewise, the two youngest groups receiving antioxidants demonstrated a significantly fewer number of tumors per animal. It is concluded that animal age influences the degree of photoprotection provided by antioxidants. Whether this effect is related to dietary intake, and thus dependent upon resident antioxidant levels, is unknown. Nevertheless, dietary antioxidants provide significant protection in young animals against carcinogenesis induced by radiation of predominantly UVB wavelengths.