A study was performed for the determination of lead in rice grains directly by solid sampling high resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (HR-CS GFAAS) without digesting sample. The effects of sample amount, pyrolysis/atomization temperatures on the determination of lead in rice were investigated and optimized using a certificated rice flour. The lead concentrations were determined applying 800 degrees C of pyrolysis and 1800 degrees C of atomization temperatures without modifier. LOD (N = 10, 3 sigma) and characteristic mass were 2.3 mu g kg(-1) and 8.1 pg, respectively. The certified lead value of a rice flour CRM was found in its uncertainity limits. The lead contents of various rice samples obtained from markets in Turkey were between 0.009 and 0.162 mg kg(-1), which are in acceptable range. The average lead concentrations in various rice grains taken from the same package were significantly different from each other. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.