An epidemiological study of cause specific mortality among West German asbestos cement workers was conducted. The cohort consisted of 280 deaths recorded by the Association of Fiber Cement Industries, Federal Republic of Germany that occurred between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1986. Death records were analyzed and the causes of death were coded according to the International Disease Classification system. Proportionate mortality ratios (SPMRs) were calculated using the mortality rates of the male West German population as the reference. The average age at death of the cohort was 69.5 years. Mean exposure time was 18.7 years. The largest number of deaths was due to diseases of the cardiovascular system, followed by malignant neoplasms of all organs, and nonmalignant respiratory system disorders, 103, 55, and 33 deaths, respectively. Twenty nine deaths from respiratory cancer occurred. These consisted of 22 deaths from lung cancer and seven from pleural mesothelioma. No deaths occurred from peritoneal mesothelioma. The nonrespiratory disease mortality included 25 deaths from bronchitis, emphysema, or bronchial asthma and five from asbestosis. The SPMRs for nonmalignant respiratory disease and respiratory cancer were 1.7 and 2.1, respectively. The SPMR for all cancers was 0.77, a significant deficit. The authors conclude that asbestos cement workers experience greater mortality from respiratory cancer than the general population. This suggests that asbestos cement workers experience mixed exposures to crocidolite (12001284) and chrysotile (12001295) asbestos.