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Iron(III) can minimize the serious interference from copper(II) and nickel(II) on the determination of tellurium by hydride generation/atomic absorption spectrometry. The optimal concentrations were found to be 1 g/l and 2 g/l Fe(III) in 4.0 mol/l HCl in presence of nickel(II) and copper(II), repectively. The signals were only 25% lower in a solution og 1.6 g/l Ni(II) than for a nickel-free solution. For copper(II), reasonable sensitivity was retained in the presence of 100 mg/l Cu(II).