The analysis of brasses regarding their microstructure, mechanical properties and ecological characteristics has been presented. The influence of characteristic alloying elements contained in the brasses and the possibilities of replacing them with other elements have been assessed. The paper contains the results of studies on the influence of chosen additional elements shaping the structure and properties of unleaded alloys based on Cu-Zn system as the matrix. The research aimed at determining the mechanism and the intensity of influence of such additives as tellurium and bismuth. The microstructures were investigated with the help of light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray microanalysis (SEM-EDS) for determining significant changes of the properties.