Poly(styrene-divinylbenzene), PS-DVB, microbeads were modified with 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HQ) following nitration, reduction of -NO2 to NH2, and conversion of NH2 to diazonium salt. Characterization of pristine, -NO2, -NH2, -N N+Cl-, and 8-QH functional groups modified microbeads was made by Fourier transform-infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and porosimetry. Total reflectron-X-ray florescence spectrometer (TXRF) was used to test the affinity of the 8-HQ modified microbeads to toxic metal ions. 8-HQ-modified microbeads were used to examine the adsorption capacity, recovery, preconcentration, and the matrix elimination efficiency for Pb(II), Cd(II), Ni(II), and Co(II) ions as a function of changing pH, initial metal-ion concentrations, and also equilibrium adsorption time of the studied metal ions. Preconcentration factors for the studied toxic metal ions were found to be more than 500-fold and recovery between 93.8% and 100.6%. Ultratrace toxic metal-ion concentrations in sea water were determined easily by using modified microbeads. Reference sea-water sample was used for the validation of the method, and it was found that recovery, preconcentration, and the matrix elimination were performed perfectly. For the desorption of the toxic metal ions, 3M of HNO3 was used and desorption ratio shown to be more than 96%. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.