A total of 647 breads from nine bakeries were pooled into 48 representative samples. After wet digestion in concentrated HNO3, the contents of lead and cadmium were determined using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry with Zeeman effect background correction and (NH4)H2PO4 matrix modification. The mean lead and cadmium contents found in the various types of bread were: rye bread 16 and 14, coffee bread 19 and 23, French bread 8 and 27, whole wheat bread 8 and 30, mixed bread group I 17 and 27, and mixed bread group II 14 and 28 micrograms/kg. The mean and median lead contents of all breads were 14 and 8 micrograms/kg. The samples showed a very high variation in their lead contents. In the present study, the lead content found in Finnish breads was much lower than that in the late 1970s. The mean and median cadmium contents in all of the bread samples analysed were 24 and 25 micrograms/kg. The cadmium content of rye breads was clearly lower than that of the other bread types studied. The content of cadmium in the different types of bread was at about the same level as that reported in Finnish breads in the late 1970s.