A method for the rapid and simultaneous determination of copper, nickel and lead in urine is described. Direct injections of freshly acidified and filtered (0.45-μm) urine samples were made onto a reverse-phase separator column with a guard column for sample clean-up. By complexing the metals with a dithiocarbamate ligand included in the mobile phase, the metal complexes could be detected electrochemically (copper and nickel) or spectrophotometrically (copper, nickel and lead). The procedure is shown to provide a convenient method for the determination of copper and nickel at normal to occupationally exposed levels of urinary output (electrochemical detection) after direct injection of samples. Spectrophotometric detection methods were insufficiently sensitive for direct determinations of copper and nickel at some of the lower levels found in urine. The spectrophotometric detection of lead is subject to interference by u.v.-absorbing constituents present in urine and is restricted to detection of lead in persons over-exposed to lead, unless additional clean-up procedures are applied.