Poly(p-chloromethylstyrene-ethyleneglycoldimethacrylate) polymeric microbeads, poly(p-CMS-EGDMA), were synthesized and 1,5,9,13-tetrathiacyclohexadecane-3,1 11-diol (S4HD) was attached chemically onto the polymeric microbeads. Characterization of all microbeads was done by Fourier transform-infrared spectrometry (FT-IR) and elemental analyzer. The amount of attached 1,5,9,13-tetrathiacyclohexadecane-3,11 -diol to the polymer was found to be 2.23 mmol g(-1) polymers. The ligand attached microbeads, poly(p-CMS-EGDMA-S4HD), were used to examine the adsorption capacity of Pb(II), Cd(II), Hg(II) and Cr(II) ions for recovery, pre-concentration and the matrix elimination by changing the pH and the initial metal ion concentrations and also adsorption kinetics of the studied metal ions was determined. Pre-concentration factors for the studied toxic metal ions were found to be more than 500-fold and recovery was between 92 and 106%. In the drinking, lake, tap and sea-water samples from water lands, ultra-trace toxic metal ion concentrations were determined easily by using ligand modified microbeads after pre-concentration because of the high pre-concentration factor and easily matrix elimination using ligand modified microbeads. Reference sea-water material was used for the validation of the method and it was found that recovery, pre-concentration and the matrix elimination were performed perfectly. For the desorption of the toxic metal ions, 3 M HCl containing 0.8 M thiourea was used and desorption ratio was obtained more than 96%. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.