In the present work both FTIR and Flame AAS were jointly used to investigate the uptake of pollutants by the aquatic plant water hyacinth. The plant was immersed alive in synthetic standard solutions containing acetic acid up to 0.40 M for 19.0 h. Then it was immersed in 0.10 M acetic acid for different periods of time up to 210.0 h. Later on, both the acetic acid treated beside non treated ones was immersed separately in 1.0, 3.0 and 5.0 mg l(-1) concentrates derived from Cd and Pb up to 240.0 h. The obtained results demonstrate the capability of the plant to remove both organic and inorganic pollutants. It is recommended that the plant be used to remediate Pb and Cd as well as other organic pollutants containing COOH. The results also indicate that the selectivity for Pb is higher than that of Cd. Additionally, pentahydrated divalent metal acetate model is presented to describe the coordination of the divalent metal ion with the acetic acid.