163 healthy reindeer herders living in the arctic area of northern Finland were investigated for blood mercury and serum selenium concentrations. More than ten percent of the subjects had blood mercury above the upper normal limit. High organic and total organic mercury levels were most common in the northeastern part of the country. High organic and total mercury and selenium values were more common in the Lapps than the Finns. Blood mercury levels increased with increasing fish consumption. The pollution in the northeastern part of this country probably leads to the increased formation of organic mercury, and its enrichment in the food chain. The association of high selenium with high mercury probably reduces the toxicity of the latter.