Abstract γ-Spectrometry permits the identification and quantification of different γ-isotopes in the same aliquot. To estimate the sensitivity and discriminative power of a comparably small and inexpensive 8% germanium detector, we determined the detection limits for simultaneously applied 210Pb, 73As, 109Cd, 203Hg and 59Fe. The concentration of Fe and of each of the four potential environmental contaminants was determined in aliquots from all organs and tissues 10 days after simultaneous i.v. administration (2 μmol/kg body weight) to adult and growing iron-deficient and iron-adequate rats. Relating these values to the total size of each organ permitted to derive a whole body distribution pattern for all five isotopes in each individual animal. Cumulative renal and faecal excretion values were determined during the 10 day distribution period to calculate the half-lives for both excretory pathways for all five isotopes simultaneously. Distribution and excretion values corresponded well to literature data. Extrapolation of the results showed that the detector would be sensitive enough to discriminate and quantify the five metals at human dietary exposure levels. The results recommend to use γ-spectrometry to investigate kinetic aspects of interactions between toxic and essential trace metals, because the method reduces the number of required animals drastically.