Humic substances (HSs) occur throughout the ecosphere in soils, waters and underground systems. The strong complexation of HSs is of importance in the migration of radionuclies in geological media. Renewed interest in stability constants of complexes of radioelements and radionuclides with humic and fulvic acids has been generated by problems associated with the nuclide migration in the environment. Use of the ion exchange method for the determination of conditional stability constants of metal-HS complexes was examined and reviewed. The complexation of HS to metal ions cannot be described in rigorous mathematical terms because of the ill-defined nature of HSs in contrast with the complexation of single ligands. Furthermore, the advantages and disadvantages of Schubert's and, Ardakani-Stevenson's, curve fitting methods were discussed. The great stabilities of HS complexes to rare earths (Yb(III), Tb(III), Eu(III), Gd(III)), americium(III), cobalt(II), uranyl(VI) and thorium(IV) were revealed.