In situ high-voltage electron microscopy (HVEM) observations have shown that the highly-focused electron beams normally employed for HVEM irradiation experiments can cause large chemical composition changes in the irradiated zone of thin film alloys during elevated temperature irradiations. The driving force for the process comes primarily from the radial gradients in displacement rates generated by the beam. Hence, the rate of change in composition exhibits a strong dependence not only on the temperature and beam intensity, but also on the spatial characteristics of the beam profile. This dependence on beam shape and size poses previously unrecognized problems, particularly for HVEM studies of the effects of dose-rate on radiation-induced phenomena that are sensitive to alloy composition. Moreover, composition changes driven by radial gradients in the displacement- rate occur at increasingly rapid rates as the beam diameter is reduced. Hence, at higher voltages, beam-induced composition changes occurring during analysis may become a serious problem, even at relatively low temperatures, for microchemical analysis techniques, such as EDX and EELS, which employ far smaller diameter electron beams than those used for irradiation purposes in the HVEM.