Two experiments measured quantities of soil Cd and Pb in wheat grain and eggs of laying hens that ingested the grain for 34 days and in liver and muscle after a 30 day withdrawal period. Soil Cd (0.6 to 2.9 ppm) induced a direct and linear accumulation in grain which ranged from 1.25 to 5.36 ppm. No response to soil Pb (4.0 to 18.7 ppm) was detected in grain which averaged 2.7 +/- 1.5 ppm. Ingestion by hens of 1500 to 11,000 micrograms Cd kg-1 body wt induced 1.87 ppm in dry albumin but Cd was not detectable in yolk, liver or muscle. Lead ingested after 34 days averaged 13,386 micrograms kg-1 body wt induced a mean of 3.88 and 4.71 micrograms Pb g-1 in yolk and albumin, respectively, but none in liver and muscle. From the soil pool 0.004% Cd and 0.02% Pb accumulated in the grain; 1.6% of grain Cd accumulated in the eggs. Only minuscule quantities (1 X 10(-5#of the Cd and Pb in the soil pool were transferred and retained in hen tissues via ingestion of the grain.