Following the Ninth International Congress of Toxicology (ICT-IX) and its satellite meeting 'The International Conference on the Environmental Toxicology of Metals and Metalloids' held in 2001 in Australia, a special issue on Arsenic was published in July 2002 (Toxicology Letters, 133 (1), 1-120, 2002). We felt that it was timely to follow up with a special issue covering a wider range of metals and metalloids. Participants from the above conferences were invited to contribute to this special issue on 'Environmental Toxicology of Metals and Metalloids'. This special issue consists of 11 manuscripts, representing up to date studies on a number of important harmful elements including aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, tin (tributyltin) and zinc. It illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of modern research in environmental toxicology involving chemical, biological and molecular technological approaches. It has been our great pleasure to produce this special issue. We would like to thank the authors for their contributions. We greatly appreciate the guidance and assistance provided by Dr J.P. Kehrer (Managing Editor), Dr. Lulu Stader (Senior Publishing Editor) and their colleagues at Elsevier Science.