The elemental analysis of plastics has become more and more important. EC directive 91/338/EWG regulates the ban of cadmium in PVC, EC directive 94/62/EC defines limits for cadmium, lead, chromium and mercury in packing materials and EC directive 2000/53/EC defines limits for the same elements in end-of-life vehicles. This has created a strong need for a rapid and reliable testing method.
One of the preferred methods is x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). The method is easy to use, flexible and partly non-destructive. The use of standardless software reduces the need for reference materials for calibration. Beside the testing for heavy metals, the method is also suitable for the analysis of ‘light elements’ like calcium, titanium or zinc. This can be important for the production control of stabilizers used for PVC production. (...)