Multi-element determination of trace elements in urine and dialysis solutions by atomic absorption spectrometry has been investigated. Coprecipitation with samarium hydroxide was used for preconcentration of trace elements and elimination of matrix elements. To 10 ml of each sample was added 500 mul of 2 mg ml(-1) samarium solutions; the pH was then adjusted to 12.2 in order to collect trace heavy metals on samarium hydroxide. The precipitate was separated by centrifugation and dissolved in 1 ml of 1 mol l(-1) HNO3. Coprecipitation parameters and matrix effects are discussed. The precision, based on replicate analysis, is around 5% for the analytes, and recovery is quantitative, based on analysis of spiked samples and solutions including matrix components. The time required for the coprecipitation and determination was about 30 min. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.