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EN71-3 Compliance Testing

Stricter Lead Requirements

Compliance with the EN71-3 standard is legally required for all toys sold in the European Union, including restrictions on the 19 elements listed in Table 1. The standard incorporates the Toy Safety Directive (TSD) 2009/48/EC with the purpose of improving the quality of products entering the European market, including toys for children up to the age of 14. While most limits have been in place since 2013, Regulation (EU) 2017/738 was published on April 2017, and substantially reduces the limit for lead content, including a drop from 160ppm to 23ppm for “scraped off toy material”.

The revised lead limit goes into effect on October 28th, 2018


Industry best practices for XRF testing of consumer products include an inconclusive result range that is +/- 30% of the regulatory limit. To ensure compliance with the new lead limit, an instrument must be able to quantify at a level below 16.1ppm, including any measurement uncertainty. With the limit of quantification approximately 3-times the limit of detection (LOD), compliance with the new regulation is best served by an instrument with a LOD of < 5.4ppm.

Table 1: HDXRF LOD for EN71-3 Regulated Elements
Element EN71-3 Soluble Limit** HDXRF Total LOD in ppm
Plastic Metal Coating
Aluminum 70,000 13,000 70,000 50,000
Antimony 560 8 15 50
Arsenic 47 1 7 6
Barium 56,000 8 100 200
Boron 15,000 ND*** ND ND
Cadmium 23 2 7 30
Chromium (III)* 460 2 15 55
Chromium (VI)* 0.2 2 15 55
Cobalt 130 2 10 60
Copper 7,700 2 50 45
Lead 23 1 10 8
Manganese 15,000 2 10 15
Mercury 94 1 15 10
Nickel 930 2 50 30
Selenium 460 1 8 5
Strontium 56,000 1 5 50
Tin* 180,000 5 12 100
Organic Tin* 12 5 12 100
Zinc 46,000 2 100 23

* HDXRF does not distinguish between valence states or chemical compound so LOD for total Chromium and total Tin are listed in the chart above.

** Limits listed for EN71-3 are for the “Scraped off toy material” category of standard 2009/48/EC, which includes but is not limited to surface coatings, polymers, leather, wood, glass, ceramics, and metals.

*** Not detected (ND)


High Definition X-ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) diagram


High Definition X-Ray Fluorescence (HDXRF) technology is particularly suited to assist in meeting tight tolerances for potentially toxic heavy metals found in toys. HDXRF offers extremely low limits of detection, outperforming traditional XRF technology and helping meet the EU Directive 2009/48/EC, commonly referred to as the Toy Safety Directive (TSD).

HDXRF differs from traditional XRF in that Doubly Curved Crystal (DCC) optics enhance measurement intensities by capturing X-rays from a divergent source and redirecting them into an intense focused beam to the sample surface. The use of multiple DCC optics enables multiple select-energy excitation beams that efficiently excite a broad range of target elements in the sample. This technique eliminates X-ray scattering background under the fluorescence peaks, and greatly enhances detection limits and precision. See HDXRF diagram.

HD Mobile Analyzer

HD Mobile®

Powered by HDXRF

Trace multi-elemental analysis has never been so convenient. HD Mobile delivers flexibility for various work environments - the manufacturing floor, shipping dock, warehouse, or retail shelf. It offers a portable handheld analyzer for users to easily switch from stationary to handheld analysis.

HDXRF technology is also used to document compliance for CPSIA, ASTM F2853, F2617 and F963. In fact, it is used by CPSC and over 100 CPSC-certified testing labs.