A case-control study was carried out on 145 male lung-cancer patients diagnosed at autopsy and 178 controls, in order to investigate the relationship between asbestos exposure and the cell type of pulmonary carcinoma. Adenocarcinomas (AD) were individually matched with other cell types and with controls. The relative risk (RR) of developing AD in relation with lung asbestos body (AB) content as the exposure indicator was calculated by using logistic-regression analysis for matched sets. Two cutoff levels, 1,000 and 10,000 asbestos bodies per gram dry weight (AB/gdw), were used in the analysis. In addition, AB counts were treated as a continuous variable (log AB+I). A significant association was found between AD and asbestos exposure, using levels and logarithmic transformation. However, an association of asbestos exposure with cell types other than AD could not be ruled out.