Alteration of multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 (MRP1) expression has been associated with certain lung diseases, and this protein may be pivotal in protecting the lungs against endogenous or exogenous toxic compounds. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the expression of MRP1 in bronchoalveolar cells from subjects with and without lung cancer who had been chronically exposed to arsenic through drinking water. MRP1 expression was assessed in bronchoalveolar cells in a total of 102 participants. MRP1 expression was significantly decreased in those with arsenic urinary levels >50 μg/L when compared with the controls. In conclusion, chronic arsenic exposure negatively correlates with the expression of MRP1 in BAL cells in patients with lung cancer. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 56:759–766, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.