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  • 1 Laboratorio Radiotossicologia C. S. N. Casaccia-CNEN, C.P. 2400, Rome, (Italy)
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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.