In a case-referent study encompassing 33 cases and 228 referents the potential risk for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory cancer among workers in a soft paper mill was evaluated. The cases were selected from registers of deaths and burials in the parishes around the paper mill. Information on exposure was obtained from the personnel register of the mill but because of shortage of information the cases could only be classified as "exposed" or "non-exposed." At some places in the mill the concentrations of paper dust had previously been high, 10-30 mg/m3. Employment at the paper mill was found to be associated with an increased risk of bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (odds ratio = 3.8, p less than 0.05).