U.S. CPSC Approves New Method for Testing Lead in Substrates of Children’s Products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved High-Definition X-Ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) technology for lead in substrate testing of children’s products via test method ASTM F2853-10. HDXRF technology, used to detect regulated elements, had previously been approved by the CPSC for testing of lead in paint and other surface coatings of children’s products. This new action by the CPSC expands the use of HDXRF for third-party testing to support product certification and clears the way for its use in “production testing” under the new CPSC Testing and Certification Rule, which became effective February 8, 2013. HDXRF offers the additional benefits of taking coating and substrate measurements simultaneously and non-destructively, reducing testing time and cost. XOS, a leading provider of mission-critical materials-analysis solutions, developed the HDXRF technique.

The CSPC’s approval of HDXRF for lead in substrate testing means that manufacturers, importers, retailers and laboratories now have a complete, precise, and reliable alternative to traditional wet chemistry,” said Satbir Nayar, XOS director of sales and marketing for consumer products.

Wet chemistry techniques require laboratory personnel to perform multiple steps and result in destruction of product samples. HDXRF is fast, non-destructive, easy to use, and provides precise results with the same accuracy as wet chemistry, according to Nayar.

The detailed new CPSC regulation, called the 1112 Rule, approving HDXRF for lead in substrate testing and restating the agency’s April 2011 approval of HDXRF for lead in paint testing, can be accessed at www.cpsc.gov.

HDXRF analyzers measure lead in paint well below the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) for coatings and 100 ppm for substrate materials (including plastics, metals, and glass) in children’s products and other consumer goods subject to these strict regulations.

Analyzers powered with HDXRF technology are available from XOS in benchtop and portable units, enabling testing in both traditional laboratory settings and on-site at factories, warehouses, and retailers. Nayar praised this recent action by the CPSC, stating that it provides for easier and more affordable testing options to help ensure that children’s products will be safe and lead-free.

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