ISO 13196:2013 does not explicitly specify elements for which it is applicable, since the applicability depends on the performance of the apparatus and the objective of the screening. The elements which can be determined are limited by the performance of the instruments used, the concentration of the element present in the soil, and the requirements of the investigation (e.g. guideline value).
For Hg, Cd, Co, Mo, V and Sb, a majority of instruments are not sensitive enough to reach sufficiently low limits of quantification (LOQ) to meet the requirements (limit or threshold values) set in the ordinances of different countries. In this case, other methods need to be employed to measure these low concentrations. Usually, wet chemical methods are used, based on aqua regia extracts, in combination with optical or mass spectrometric (MS) methods like atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS), inductively coupled plasma/optical emission spectrometry (ICP/OES) or ICP/MS.