The ultimate purpose of all studies on environmental contamination is to protect human life; as a consequence the knowledge
of the trace element pathways from environment to man is of paramount importance because it allows the assessment of a clear
relationship between any environmental contamination and its effects on man. To this extent two different kinds of environmental
studies will be described in this paper: (a) Studies of the geographic variations on the whole national territory of the natural
levels of trace elements in water, food and some human tissues. (b) Studies of selected areas where a critical population
group is exposed to abnormal levels of some trace elements. The main trace elements considered are: Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hg, Ni,
Rb, Sb, Sc, Se and Zn; all the measurements were performed by means of non-destructive neutron activation analysis.