This study is the small part of the big project related to the metallic contamination in foodstuff. The work presented here allowed determination the level of iron, copper, zinc, lead and cadmium in bread samples obtained from 20 bakeries in Ankara and Samsun, Turkey. The atomic absorption spectrophotometry method was used to determine these metals. The mean values of iron, copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium levels were found as 19.2 +/- 8.1 mg/kg-dry weight (dw), 2.1 +/- 1.0 mug/kg-dw, 10.0 +/- 3.0 mug/kg-dw, 86.8 +/- 176.0 mug/kg-dw, and 12.2 +/- 6.1 mug/kg-dw, respectively. No significant differences were found in copper and lead levels of samples obtained from bakeries in general, and in copper and cadmium levels of the samples from different provinces (P > 0.05), while they were considered significant in iron, zinc, and cadmium levels of samples in general, and in iron, zinc and lead levels of samples from different provinces (P < 0.05). (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.