Increased concentrations of nickel, chromium and arsenic significantly exceeding local limits for heavy metals were found in samples of soils and sediments from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in samples from Obrenovac, Serbia, where increased concentration of cadmium was also detected. Higher concentrations of heavy metals (nickel, chromium, cadmium, arsenic and mercury) in soils and sediments were found in closer to the ash landfills in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In general the river water in Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina is polluted in such a way that concentrations of heavy metals can result in an unacceptable effect for the aquatic community in the water. Increased concentrations of cadmium, nickel, lead and arsenic were found in samples. The effect on biota by industrial activities was studied in the monitored region. The fish consumption advisory level for mercury was exceeded in 4 of the 11 samples of fishes from Sava River in Serbia and the Cehotina River in Montenegro. Higher levels of cadmium were determined in samples of onion closer to the ash landfills in Tuzla. It is necessary to monitor continuously the occurence of heavy metals in the environment in the region and collect and analyze data on the concentrations of heavy metals in biological samples to determine conditions and preferential routes of transmission of pollutants into the food chain and food products and human body. It is also necessary to find ways to prevent the spread of contaminants into the environment.