Abstract We carried out a quantum-chemical analysis of the relationships between the electronic structure of several substituted benz[a]anthracene derivatives and Badger’s qualitative scale for grading skin and subcutaneous tissue carcinogenic activity. We obtained statistically significant results for the Badger index used for carcinogenicity in the skin but not for the subcutaneous tissue. A new carbon atom was detected as being important in the carcinogenic process. We defined a new carcinogenic index based on the earliest day of death of tumor-bearing mice. The use of this new index provided better results than Badger’s. A carbon atom, never detected previously, appeared in the equation relating structure with carcinogenic potency. The results presented here, together the ones of a previous paper, allow to begin to understand why concepts such as K-L regions, bay region and M-region never were fully satisfactory.