A procedure for the determination of trace amounts of Pb(II), Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Cd(11) and Mn(II) is described, that combines atomic absorption spectrometry-dysprosium hydroxide coprecipitation. The influences of analytical parameters including amount of dysprosium(IH), centrifugation time, sample volume, etc. were investigated on the recoveries of analyte ions. The effects of concomitant ions were also examined. The recoveries of the analyte ions were in the range of 95.00-104.00%. The detection limits corresponding to three times the standard deviation of the blank for the analytes were in the range of 14.1-25.3 mu g/L. The method was applied to the determination of lead, copper, nickel, cobalt, cadmium and manganese ions in natural waters and table salts good results were obtained (relative standard deviations < 10%, recoveries > 95%). (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.