A longitudinal study on vibration syndrome among professional forest workers was carried out in Finland from 1972 to 1990. In the course of the follow-up the weighted vibration acceleration of chain saws decreased from about 14 to 2 m/s2. The prevalence of vibration-induced white finger (VWF) decreased gradually from 40% to 5%. Numbness occurred mainly at night, and its prevalence decreased from 78% to 28%. During part of the follow-up period (1975-1990) the complaints of hand muscle weakness decreased from 19% to 9%. Disorders of the musculoskeletal system were considered to cause more disability than VWF. The decreased vibration acceleration and the lighter weight of chain saws were considered the main reasons for the decrease in the prevalence of vibration-induced symptoms.