Particle Contamination Tests

Particle Contamination Tests

The identification of particulate pollutants is the first step for many industries to solve potentially critical contamination problems that may occur unexpectedly at multiple points along the supply chain. Only when the source is known can action be taken to control and prevent future contamination.

Particle contamination studies include the identification of microscopic particles, the isolation of different particle phases of inhomogeneous production residues, and the determination of source (s) of various contaminants. For example, the effect of particles reaching valuable samples such as medicines and medical devices is extensive; inefficiency in production processes, compromised product quality and delays in delivering products to patients.

Our contamination analysis team adopts a strategic approach to identify contaminants with expertise in sampling and sample preparation, visual / physical inspection, chemical identification and root cause analysis. Our approach is focused on providing insight based on scientific evidence necessary to facilitate informed decision making and thus reduce the negative impact of particle pollution on product quality (and safety) or production efficiency. Using microscopy techniques, contaminant particles are digitally imaged for forensic traceability. Following initial microscopic evaluation, analysis can be performed on isolated particles using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX) using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) or vibrational spectroscopy (Infra-Red or Raman) as appropriate. Characterizing the size or shape of pollutant particles, photomicrography; Image analysis and particle sizing are used to evaluate and quantify comparisons with “hidden” or “suspicious” pollutants to increase the weight of evidence on potential sources.

EUROLAB offers both standard and rapid delivery services for the identification and characterization of particulate pollutants and impurities using the following techniques:

  • Microscopy: Light (and Polarized Light):
  • Confocal Raman Microscopy
  • Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) Microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscope (TEM)
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM, SEM / EDX)
  • Molecular Spectroscopy: Including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) and Raman Spectroscopy
  • Surface analysis: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
  • Thermal analysis, eg Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)


  • Foreign particles or fibers seen as powdered products in a lighter colored product or black spots in multicolored materials
  • Remnants of cleaning and maintenance
  • Dissolution in the pile of material of different particle size and / or shape, or particles observed on the particles
  • Metal wear and corrosion leading to foreign metal particles from pipes, pumps and containers
  • Particles from process equipment (eg PTFE particles from filters, joints or gaskets)
  • Glass fragments due to glass delamination or breakage
  • Biological material of microbiological origin
  • Metallic particles in which production or geographical origin is important.
  • Rubber, silicone or other polymeric particles or Teflon particles from filters, joints or seals

We have the competence to fully review the analytical results and provide guidance for assessing the findings of analytical studies that focus on pollution events associated with production, engineering and supply chain, and identifying corrective and preventive measures. Our extensive experience in many sectors, such as chemistry, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, polymers and coatings, provides the necessary knowledge to effectively identify and locate unknown pollutants and to learn more about supply chains and processes. and working closely with our customers to implement necessary pollution control actions or to verify legal action.

You can contact us for any technical support and information regarding Particle Contamination Tests.