A method for the determination of trace amounts of Mo, Cd, Co and Cr in biological materials by neutron activation analysis with radiochemical separation is presented. The method is based on the ion-exchange scheme developed by SAMSAHL, where Co and Cr are trapped on BioRad Chelex-100 and Cd and Mo on BioRad AG2X8. The elements Mo, Cd and Co can be determined without systematic errors. For the element chromium the situation is less clear, partially due to lack of sufficient certified reference materials for Cr. The method has been used in the characterization of candidate reference materials. Detection limits in these materials range from 1.5 g/kg for Co to 10 g/kg for Cr. Actual levels as low as 8 g/kg for Cd and 7 g/kg for Co were measured.