Results of a systematic study concerning non-spectral interferences observed with a commercially available high resolution ICP-mass spectrometer are reported and compared to observations made with a quadrupole-based instrument. In general, matrix effects were observed to be to a large extent comparable for both instruments used. In all cases, the matrix-induced signal suppression or enhancement was seen to depend in a regular way on the mass number of the nuclides monitored. In most cases, the ionization potential of the nuclides has little or no influence on the extent of suppression or enhancement. For As, Se and Te, the introduction of 2.5 % ethanol, 0.5 mol/l H2SO4, or to a lesser extent 0.5 mol/l H3PO4, leads to an exceptional increase in the signal intensity for both instruments. Registration of signal behaviour plots (signal intensity as a function of the nebulizer gas flow rate) in different matrices revealed that both the height of the plot and the optimum nebulizer gas flow rate are a function of the matrix composition. Finally, no indication was found that the acceleration of the extracted ions over 8000 V with the high resolution instrument would lead to an alleviation of space charge effects when compared to a quadrupole-based ICP-mass spectrometer.