The principal products of the photooxidation of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]-anthracene (DMBA) in aqueous solutions by photooxidation induced by laboratory lighting have been characterized by high performance liquid chromatograms (HPLC), ultraviolet and mass spectrograms and by comparisons with authentic samples. The products identified were the 7,12-epidioxy-7, 12-dihydro-7,12-diniethyl-, 7,12-dione, 7-hydroxymethyl-12-methyl-, 12-hydroxymethyl-7-methyl-, 7-formyl-12-methyl-, 12-formyl-7-methyl-, and 12-hydroxy-12-methyl-7'one derivatives of benz[α]-anthracene. The HPLC profile of products is similar to that obtained from oxidation of DMBA by 'one-electron' reagents, singlet oxygen, or liver microsomal metabolism. The first points of attack are the 7- and 12- positions. The mechanism of photooxidation appears to be generation of singlet oxygen by photodynamic effect of DMBA. None of the products is photosensitizing, however. © 1979.