The cadmium, lead, copper, and zinc levels were measured in six organs (lung, liver, kidney, skin, muscle, and bone) from 18 specimens of toothed whales, belonging to five species, found stranded along the Corsican coast between November 1993 and December 1998. The five species examined were the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis, the striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, the pilot whale Globicephala melas, and the Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus. The values obtained demonstrate that there is a great variability in the accumulation of toxic metals. A comparison of the values with those obtained in other geographical regions also demonstrates an extensive variability in metal levels. The presence of metals in the stomach contents of three of the individuals studied shows that the food source is responsible for a significant input of pollutants to the whales. Measured pollutant levels in whales are thus the result of an accumulation occurring throughout the animal's life.