Lung cancer mortality was studied during 1965-1985 in Outokumpu township in North Karelia, where an old copper mine was located. Age-specific lung cancer death rates (1968-1985) were higher among the male population of Outokumpu than among the North Karelian male population of the same age excluding the Outokumpu district (p less than .01). Of all 106 persons who died from lung cancer during 1965-1985 in Outokumpu township, 47 were miners of the old mine, 39 of whom had worked there for at least three years and been heavily exposed to radon daughters and silica dust. The study cohort consisted of 597 miners first employed between 1954 and 1973 by a new copper mine and a zinc mine, and employed there for at least 3 years. The period of follow-up was 1954-1986. The number of person-years was 14,782. The total number of deaths was 102; the expected number was 72.8 based on the general male population and 97.8 based on the mortality of the male population of North Karelia. The excess mortality among miners was due mainly to ischemic heart disease (IHD); 44 were observed, the expected number was 22.1, based on the general male population, and the North Karelian expected number was 31.2 (p less than .05). Of the 44 miners who died from IHD, 20 were drillers or chargers exposed to nitroglycerin in dynamite charges, but also to several simultaneous stress factors including PAHs, noise, vibration, heavy work, accident risk, and working alone. Altogether 16 tumors were observed in the cohort. Ten of these were lung cancers, the expected number being 4.3. Miners who had died from lung cancer were 35-64 years old, and had entered mining work between 1954 and 1960. Five of the ten lung cancer cases came from the zinc mine (1.7 expected). Three of them were conductors of diesel-powered ore trains. The slight excess mortality from lung cancer could be explained by exposure to radon daughters and by the combined effect of silica dust and diesel exhaust gases in the zinc mine.