A new method was developed for the direct electrothermal atomic absorption determination of mercury in drinking water and urine using double vaporization in a two-step atomizer with a purged vaporizer. In this method, a sample is placed in the vaporizer of a two-step atomizer, dried, and vaporized. The sample vapor is transferred to an unheated atomizer cell with a flow of argon and trapped by the inner surface of cell walls. This procedure can be performed repeatedly to preconcentrate mercury in the atomizer cell. Next, a portion of the sample transferred to the inner surface of the atomizer cell is revaporized and atomized by heating the atomizer cell of the two-step atomizer with a purged vaporizer, and the atomic absorption of mercury is measured. It was found that the degree of mercury transfer and trapping is as high as 100% at sufficiently high temperatures of primary vaporization, regardless of the material of the inner surface of the atomizer cell. The detection limits for mercury were 0.24 or 0.024 mug/L for drinking water at a sample volume of 100 muL using a single sample transfer or the procedure repeated ten times, respectively, and 2.0 mug/L for urine at a sample volume of 20 muL and a single sample transfer. The accuracy of the results was confirmed by the analysis of certified mercury samples and samples with known additives.