XRF Applications

Pharmaceutical Applications

One of the most common product safety related analytical tests is the quantification of inorganic impurities within a pharmaceutical product. Since there are many potential sources of contamination, it may be of interest to measure raw materials, intermediates as well as final products.

Ultimately, XRF delivers comprehensive analytical systems and solutions to ensure optimal quality assurance and quality control of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries at all stages of pre-in-and post-production testing. There are numerous applications in the pharmaceutical market that can be accomplished with XRF:

  • Bismuth in Anti-Diarrheal Medication- Bismuth is a heavy metal that is easily monitored by most XRF instrument.
  • Lead in Bone and Blood- There is a patented XRF method for measuring lead in bone by directly fluorescing an area near the knee. Toxic levels of lead in blood are also detectable by XRF.
  • Calcium and Magnesium in Antacids- Calcium and/or magnesium are found in high concentrations in most antacid products and can be measured with many XRF instruments.
    Zirconium, and Aluminum in Deodorant- Most deodorants contain zirconium, and/or aluminum at high concentration. In many formulations silicon and chlorine are also measurable. Deodorants have long been analyzed by XRF.
  • Selenium in Shampoo- Selenium is a common additive in shampoos to prevent dandruff. XRF has long been used in this application.
  • Calcium in Dietary Supplements- Calcium is added to dietary supplements as a source of calcium to help with the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Chlorine in Toothpaste- Toothpaste is another product that has been successfully analyzed by XRF.
  • Zinc in Cold Treatments- Zinc is a common cold remedied that is available in many lozenges and in other forms. The zinc concentration is high and can be monitored by XRF.
  • Metals in Vitamin tablets and supplements- Metal concentrations in vitamin tables can be measured with many higher resolution EDXRF and WDXRF instruments.
  • Iodine in Sterilization Products- Iodine is toxic and has long been used in sterilizing solutions. Iodine can be measured with many XRF instruments.
  • Silver Nitrate on Medical Products- Most plastic or rubber medical products contain silver nitrate as a biocide agent to prevent the spread of disease. A few examples are EKG strips, catheters, and contact lenses. The concentration is in the PPM range, but may be measured by XRF.
  • Hazardous Metal Analysis in Pharmaceuticals- All products have to be free of toxic metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Some of the better WDXRF and EDXRF instruments have detection limits that are good enough to determine if products are non-toxic.
  • Silicone on Condoms- Silicone is a release agent applied to most condoms to keep the latex from sticking to itself. The coating is light, but measurable by XRF.