We conducted a case-control study of 325 men ages 30-69 who were diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) between 1976 and 1984, and resided in four urban areas of Michigan in 1984. Cases were selected from the Michigan Kidney Registry and excluded men with diabetic, congenital, and obstructive nephropathies. Controls were selected by random-digit dialing and were pair-matched to cases for age, race, and area of residence. Telephone interviews were conducted with 69 percent of eligible cases and 79 percent of eligible controls. Risk of ESRD was significantly related to phenacetin or acetaminophen consumption (odds ratio(OR) = 2.66), moonshine consumption (OR = 2.43), a family history of renal disease (OR = 9.30); and regular occupational exposures to solvents (OR = 1.51) or silica (OR = 1.67). Particular occupational exposures with elevated risk were solvents used as cleaning agents and degreasers (OR = 2.50) silica exposure in foundries or brick factories (OR = 1.92), and silica exposure during sandblasting (OR = 3.83). Little or no trend of increased risk with duration of exposure was found for these occupational exposures, with the exception of silica in sandblasting. Limitations of these data include representativeness of cases, possible overreporting by cases, and misclassification of exposures inherent in self-reports.