An alternative and new system for on-line preconcentration of arsenic by sorption on a mini-column associated to hydride generation--inductively coupled plasma--optical emission spectrometry determination was studied. It is based on the sorption of arsenic on a column packed with ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) turnings and the use of La(III) as co-precipitant reagent. This polymeric material was employed here for the first time as filling material for column preconcentration. It could work both as adsorbent and as sieve material. Sample and co-precipitant agent (lanthanum nitrate) were off-line mixed and merged with ammonium buffer solution (pH 10.0), which promoted precipitation and quantitative collection on the small EVA turnings. The arsenic preconcentrated by co-precipitation with lanthanum hydroxide precipitate was subsequently eluted with hydrochloric acid, which was the medium used for hydride generation. Considering a flow rate of 5 ml/min, three enrichment factors were obtained, 28-, 38- and 45-fold at three different sampling times, 60, 120 and 180s; respectively. The detection limits (3s) obtained for each case were 0.013, 0.009 and 0.007 microg/l. Additionally, the calculated precisions expressed as relatively standard deviation (R.S.D.) were 0.9, 1.3 and 1.1%. Satisfactory results were obtained for the determination of arsenic in standard reference material NIST 1643e Trace Elements in Water and drinking water samples.