New Testing Method Speeds Lead Analysis

By using High Definition X-Ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) lead content can be detected faster than ever before.

By using High Definition X-Ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) lead content can be detected faster than ever before.

East Greenbosh, NY–A new test method for measuring lead in components used in products such as apparel and accessories could offer a lower cost alternative to traditional lead testing for companies seeking to comply with ever more stringent product safety requirements.

The new ASTM Standard Test Method–ASTM F2853–-was formally approved earlier this month. Its development is being managed by materials-analysis equipment firm X-Ray Optical Systems (XOS), which uses High Definition X-Ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) to detect the lower lead limits regulated under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

While the new test method applies to lead, HDXRF also measures other regulated heavy metals such as cadmium and antimony, in both paint and substrates, including plastics, metals and glass.

As reported earlier this week the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Council and several accessories industry trade associations are currently working on develping a national safety standards for children’s jeweler that would include cadmium and other potential hazards.

A key feature of HDXRF analysers is their ability to quantify toxic elements in both surface coatings and substrates of consumer products.

And unlike other techniques which require time-consuming paint removal and off-line processing, HDXRF offers rapid, non-destructive measurement for both coatings and substrates.

“This will benefit both manufacturers and consumers, by making it easier to accurately test for lead, resulting in improved compliance, safer products, and lower testing and manufacturing costs,” said Satbir Nayar, HDXRF product manager.

Since it became law in 2008, the CPSIA has regulated the amount of lead content permitted in products for children aged 12 years and under. The current CPSIA standard for lead in the substrate of a children’s product is 300 parts per million (ppm), but from August 2011 the limit for lead in the substrate of a children’s product will drop further to 100 ppm.

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