Everything we sec around us is made of elements, Nature's building blocks. Our own bodies contain about 30 of them, some in abundance, some in trace amounts but nevertheless vital to our health, and some that are positively harmful. The Earth is made up of around 90 elements and again some are abundant, such as the silicon and oxygen of rocks and soils, while some are exceedingly rare - yet even these can bc part of our everyday life. The total number of known elements is now 115 (at the last count) although most of the 25 new elements that have been synthesized in the past half century have existed for less than a day. Some of them have accumulated though, and are now a threat to the environment. Nature's Building Blocks gives a readable account of all the elements in all their many roles. Arranged alphabetically, from actinium to zirconium, cach element bas its own entry with sections dealing with its discovery, what it is used for, and its importance to living things, in particular to humans. Other sections include 'Food element', for elements that are essential nutrients, and 'Medical element' describing what happens if we get too much, or not enough, of the clement, and how the element has been used by doctors through the ages. Each entry ends with 'Element of surprise' highlighting an unexpected way in which an element impinges on our everyday life. Here you will find answers to such questions as: What foods contain a particular element? Does our body store it, or shed it quickly? Which elements are essential to health? Is a particular element a threat to the environment? Are supplies of it running out? Do living things need it? Is it toxic? What is it used for? And very many more! Natures Building Blocks is 'a marvel-encyclopaedic in scope, but so full of enthusiasm, so engagingly written, that one can open it at any point and read for sheer delight.' Oliver Sacks.