The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Approves New Test Method for Detection of Lead in Paint

XOS’s HDXRF Technique, as Described in ASTM F2853-10, Receives Key Federal Approval

Albany, NY (March 31, 2011) – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved a new test method to measure lead in paint and other surface coatings of children’s products and household furniture.  This development significantly expands the government approved options for lead testing and provides a powerful new analysis solution to industry for the measurement of lead in paint in children’s products to comply with the CPSIA. (See notice – http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia11/brief/lead100rev.pdf)

XOS, a leading provider of mission-critical materials analysis solutions joined with the CPSC, NIST, leading third-party testing laboratories, and others over the last two years to develop this new test method.  The new method, designated “ASTM F2853-10,” involves the use of HDXRF, an XOS-developed technique that measures lead and other regulated elements in coatings and substrates at much lower levels, and with greater precision and reliability, than traditional XRF analyzers.  In fact, ASTM F2853 identifies XOS as the sole equipment provider that is compliant with this standard test method.

Until now, the only CPSC recognized method for testing and certifying lead in paint involved the use of complicated wet chemistry techniques. These require lab personnel to perform multiple steps, starting with first scraping the paint off product samples, which often destroys products in the process.  The CPSC’s staff report now confirms that ASTM F2853-10 “…is expected to be as effective, precise and reliable as the current CPSC staff method and the methodology used by CPSC staff for compliance determinations…”

“Practical and cost-effective analytical techniques such as HDXRF play an important role in meeting quality and regulatory requirements” said Berry Beumer, XOS Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  “The CPSC’s leadership in recognizing the value of this new ASTM test method will benefit both industry and consumers.”

Some manufacturers have been screening products for lead using hand-held x-ray fluorescence (XRF) units, though the CPSC has not allowed such instruments to be used for the certification of products to the lead paint standard because they are not sensitive enough to produce reliable quantitative results at regulated levels.  In fact, the CPSC’s staff report clearly states that “XRF methods other than those specified in ASTM F2853-10 are not considered effective for testing lead in paint and surface coatings for the purpose of conformity with 16 C.F.R. part 1303 at this time”.

By contrast, XOS HDXRF instruments use next generation technology and are sufficiently precise and reliable to measure lead in paint well below the current limit of 90 parts per million. In addition, HDXRF is highly precise at quantifying even low levels of lead in a variety of substrates including plastics, metals and glass.  XOS analyzers are also easy to operate, involve no sample preparation, and require only minutes of testing time.

Satbir Nayar, XOS Product Manager notes “Not only is the CPSC using an HDXRF analyzer in their lab, but more test laboratories, retailers and manufacturers are turning to these analyzers for their ease of use and detection performance to ensure products are safe and compliant”. XOS instruments are also capable of not only simultaneously measuring the lead in paint and substrate materials (and giving accurate measurements for both), but they can also precisely measure cadmium, arsenic, mercury, antimony, and other elements that may be of concern in consumer products.

For more information on HDXRF as well as HDXRF Analyzers, such as HD Prime and HD Equity, please e-mail Satbir Nayar, Product Manager at snayar@xos.com or visit www.xos.com/hdxrf.