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Simple and rapid analytical procedures for the AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrometry) determination of Zn, Cd, Ni, Mo and Pb in biological, geological and soil samples are described. Special attention was paid to sample preparation, which is the step, most vulnerable to contaminants. Optimal conditions are presented for the wet digestion of plant matrices, products and waste for the coal treatment and soil matrices with different acids including: nitric, perchloric, hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, sulfuric and hydrogen peroxide along with optimal temperature programmes for subsequent electrothermal (ET)-AAS and flame (F)-AAS determination of Zn, Cd, Ni, Mo and Pb. Results of the analysis of all samples are discussed. The proposed method allows obviating the organic matrix (soil and plant) destruction stage, shortening the analyte dissolution time, reducing cost, and minimizing hazards of loss and contamination. The validity and versatility of the methods developed were verified by the analysis of certified reference materials.

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