A study of the status of essential, toxic and trace elements in the foods and diets of Australian has been in progress for six years. Results for sodium, potassium and chloride levels are reported here. The average daily dietary intake of sodium and chloride exceeded the range of values recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council for most population groups with grain and dairy products the main contributor to these high intakes. In contrast, the average daily intakes of potassium fell well within the recommended values for all age groups with intakes for adult females close to the recommended minimum figure. 9 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs.