A retrospective cohort study in 1794 male ceramic workers in the Netherlands was carried out to analyze the lung cancer risk in relation to crystalline silica exposure and silicosis. They had all been employed for two years or longer in ceramic industries between 1972 and 1982. During a health survey, 124 cases of simple pneumoconiosis were diagnosed; after 14 years of follow-up, 161 deaths had occurred. No increased overall and cause-specific mortality was found in the total group of ceramic workers, and a statistically significant cumulative dose-response relation for silica exposure and lung cancer did not emerge. An excess lung cancer mortality appeared among workers with simple pneumoconiosis. The authors conclude that the disease process resulting in silicosis in the ceramic industry carries an increased risk of lung cancer, which is supportive of a nongenotoxic pathway.