The mortality experience of a cohort of approximately 9,000 traced men employed at a Tennessee chemical plant was examined between 1972 and 1982. Statistically significant total mortality deficits of 41% to 46% and 14%, respectively, were observed compared with general population and occupational controls. Cancer deaths were 22% (significant) below expectation based on state and national vital statistics, whereas comparison with an employed group showed no difference. Significantly low mortality differentials were also reported for other major causes, including diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems. Analysis of the data by length of employment, payroll status, and chemical production division demonstrated no unusual patterns. The cohort's favorable mortality experience may be attributed to such factors as employee selectivity, health maintenance, accessibility to medical care, and less cigarette smoking.