The release of nickel, chromium and lead from electric kettles to water under conditions simulating regular household use was investigated. Ten out of 26 kettles sold on the Danish market released more than 50 micrograms/l nickel to water, whereas neither lead nor chromium was released in any significant amount. Fifty micrograms/l of nickel in water was chosen as the threshold of action, because concentrations below this value were considered unlikely to provide outbreaks of eczema for those consumers suffering from contact allergy to nickel, who are also sensitive to the content of nickel in the diet. This first part of the study was followed up by a dialogue between the kettle producers and the Danish authorities, leading to a change of construction or design for those kettles that did not comply with the criteria. As a follow-up study another ten kettles were studied to check whether compliance was improved. Two of these ten kettles still released more than 50 micrograms/l nickel to water under the test conditions. These two kettles, however, were subsequently withdrawn from the market. Coffee machines tested similarly did not release aluminium, lead, chromium or nickel in quantities of any significance.