A new co-precipitation method was developed to separate and pre-concentrate Fe3+, Cu2+, Cr3+, Zn2+, and Pb2+ ions using an organic co-precipitant, 3-benzyl-4-p-nitrobenzylidenamino-4,5-dihydro1,2,4-triazole-5-on (BPNBAT) without adding any carrier element, following flame atomic absorption spectrometric (FAAS) determinations. Effect of some analytical conditions, such as pH of the solution, quantity of the co-precipitant, standing time, centrifugation rate and time, sample volume, and interference of concomitant ions were investigated over the recovery yields of the metal ions. The recoveries of the analyte ions were in the range of 95-102%. The detection limits, corresponding to three times the standard deviation of the blank, were found to be in the range of 0.3-2.0 mu g L-1. The precision of the method, evaluated as the relative standard deviation (R.S.D.) obtained after analyzing a series of 10 replicates, was between 1.6% and 6.0% for the trace metal ions. The method was validated by analyzing two certified reference materials and spiked addition. The proposed procedure was applied for the trace metal ions in some environmental samples. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.