Estimates have been made of the numbers of cancers that are projected to result from past exposures to asbestos in a number of occupations and industries. From 1940 through 1979, 27,500,000 individuals had potential asbestos exposure at work. Of these, 18,800,000 had exposure in excess of that equivalent to two months employment in primary manufacturing or as an insulator (greater than 2-3 f-yr/ml). 21,000,000 of the 27,500,000 and 14,100,000 of the 18,800,000 are estimated to have been alive on January 1, 1980. It is further estimated that approximately 8,200 asbestos-related cancer deaths are now occurring annually. This will rise to about 9,700 annually by the year 2000. Thereafter, the mortality rate from past exposure will decrease, but still remain substantial for another three decades.