What Is In It?

XRF instruments are routinely employed to screen the elemental content on various samples. Spectra presented below are some representative samples and the elements are clearly identified. Quantitative XRF analysis requires additional standards in the sample matrix.  These type of standards are manufactured (such as NIST soil standards) or can be prepared with high purity elements added to a specific sample matrix.

Spectral Analysis

CCA Timbers

The impregnated wood products labeled as CCA are known to contain copper, chromium and arsenic.  XRF is a proposed method to screen wood as it is being recycled.

The recorded spectrum shows the three elements that were added to this wood product.  The three elements show typical X-ray K lines.

XRF Instrument

This spectrum shows the elemental X-ray lines of chromium, copper, and arsenic and it was recorded on a CCA timber directly. 

Recalled Halloween toys 

The plastic teeth were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2007. The teeth have lead paint on the surface.  Representative spectrum of one of the two fake teeth toys shows lead in the plastic or on the surface.  This spectrum was for the golden tooth sample which shows copper in this sample. 

Images of the teeth and a spectrum are below. The lead X-ray lines are prominent and copper X-ray lines are also identifiable.

XRF Instrument

XRF Instrument