An epidemiological study of mortality among Chinese asbestos (1332214) miners was conducted. The cohort consisted of 1227 males who had worked for at least 1 year at a chrysotile (12001295) mine in Laiyuan, Hebei Province, Peoples Republic of China before January 1 1972. The comparisons consisted of 2754 persons living in Laiyuan commune who had not been exposed to asbestos. The number of deaths occurring between January 1 1972 and December 31 1981 was determined. Death certificates of all decedents were reviewed to determine the cause of death. The incidence of nonmalignant asbestos related pulmonary disease was also determined. Sixty seven deaths occurred in the asbestos miners and 247 in the comparisons during the study period. Six deaths from lung cancer and three from mesothelioma occurred in the asbestos workers. Three lung cancer deaths occurred in the comparisons. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for the lung cancer deaths in the cohort and comparisons were 344.4 and 14.3, respectively. The SMRs for all malignant neoplasms were 433.6 and 62.9, respectively. A total of 154 cases of asbestosis occurred in the cohort. Fourteen of these died, seven from malignancies, of which six were the lung cancer deaths. Approximately 96% of all deaths in the asbestos miners were due to malignant neoplasms, nonmalignant respiratory disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and brain vessel disease. Among the comparisons, 83% of all mortality was due to cor pulmonale and other cardiovascular diseases, nonmalignant respiratory disease, stroke, malignancies, and infectious diseases. The prevalence rates of lung cancer in the asbestos miners for the 1972 to 1976 and 1977 to 1981 periods were 27.9 and 82.3 cases per 100000, respectively. The authors conclude that mortality from lung cancer among Laiyuan asbestos miners is closely associated with dust exposures at the mine.