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The aims of the paper are to; i) evaluate the rate and direction of present changes in lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) soil pools of Swedish forests; ii) discuss processes of importance for leaching of Pb and Cd in Swedish forest soils. The presently ongoing changes of Pb and Cd pools of Swedish forest soils are evaluated by compilation of data from the literature and unpublished sources. It is concluded that Cd pools are presently decreasing in larger areas of Sweden. The rate of decrease is mainly determined by soil acidity status; Cd leaching is regulated by ion exchange with Ca2+, Mg2+, Al3+ and H+, and is higher in acid soils. The Pb pools are presently increasing with 0.1 to 0.3 percent annually in the soil down to 0.5 meter. Pb is redistributed from the O horizon to the B horizon, most pronounced in spruce forests; the Pb pools of the O horizon are presently not increasing, but is slightly decreasing by 0.1 to 0.2 percent annually. The leaching of Pb in the soil is controlled by factors regulating the solubility of organic matter.