Compared with nonexposed fishermen, those exposed to oil were at increased risk for breathing problems. However, there were no differences in results on tests of breathing function when the researchers compared exposed and nonexposed fishermen. Among nonsmoking fishermen, levels of some chemicals in exhaled breath that signified possible lung damage were higher in exposed than in nonexposed fishermen. Exposed fishermen were also more likely to have a chromosome abnormality on blood tests. These comparisons excluded smokers, who would be expected to have lung damage and toxic chemicals in their breath because of tobacco.