The proceedings focus, in 39 chapters, on a number of health themes debated by international contributors covering nutrition and food, environment and toxicity. The intention is to emphasize the importance of trace elements in soil, plants and animals as well as considering their influence on the requirements of a normal diet and the consequences of deficiency or toxicity. W. Mertz analyzes current recommendations on individual elements and K. and H. Nomiyama reflect on the lessons for toxicology from Japan, including Minamata disease and Itai-Itai. L.R. McDowell describes the soil-plant-animal-man relationships. Methods and technical aspects include secondary ion mass spectroscopy and gallium in the brain. Risks at work and in the feeding of hospital patients are assessed. Clinical topics cover perinatal development, brain metabolism, MND, liver disease and the role of copper complexes. The role of these elements in animal husbandry is also described.