H. J. Muller, in a paper in 1950 entitled 'Our load of mutation', predicted the genetic decay of the human species due to increasing mutation pressure combined with relaxation of natural selection. In the meantime, much information on spontaneous and induced mutations in humans has been accumulated, and a reappraisal of Muller's conclusions gives a much less gloomy overall picture. However, a certain increase of malformation and disease can be predicted as a result of ionizing radiation and chemical mutagens. On the other hand, genetic counselling and antenatal diagnosis of genetic anomalies may help to keep the genetic risks within tolerable limits. Research on the biological conditions for the untoward effects of mutagenic chemicals considered necessary for the wellbeing of humans may also help to reduce genetic risks. The extent and kind of the risks as well as possibilities for prevention are discussed with a few examples.