CPSC Approved Final Rule Relating to CPSIA

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has drafted and approved its final rule on the factors that will be considered when seeking civil penalties relating to three consumer goods related acts; including the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).  

Section 217 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) (often referred to in this XRF-Blog) amended the criteria the CPSC must consider when determining the penalty amount for violations of CPSA and other acts.  The maximum penalty for violations was also increased to $100,000.

The release from the CPSC can be read in full here.  One of the factors that, in our opinion, is an important one to note is “the appropriateness of the penalty in relation to the size of the business or of the person charged, including how to mitigate undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses“.  While it is not stated what factors are considered when considering a businesses size (annual sales, net work, number of employees, etc?), this is good news for a number of businesses that have major concerns on how CPSIA will affect them…although a penalty for violation is still a penalty.

The increased penalties, however, are another reason that organizations (especially larger product importers, manufacturers and distributors) should consider adding in-house screening of products for CPSIA compliance.  While third party testing is required and will often provide reliable results; there is no substitute for the protection that in-house testing for hazardous substances provides.   XRF Analyzers from QSX Instruments can provide assurance that third party testing is correct and help minimize your risk for violations (and the penalties that come with).

Gold Buyers Being Watched…

Every once in a while I hear the idea of an organization ‘policing’ Gold Buyers.  The idea is to protect people selling jewelry by having standards, etc that Gold Buyers should follow and letting the public know about those standards.  While that will probably never happen; an Atlanta, GA News Station took it upon themselves to look into the varying amounts paid out for a bunch of gold. 

In the report (linked here), they received a wide range of prices; but this blog is about how they determined the dollar amount of their gold…by using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF).  The report uses a Handheld XRF but desktop analyzers, like the popular QSX-79T, have been used for years by gold buyers that want to differentiate themselves from the other gold buyers.

XRF Gold Test EquipmentXRF provides nondestructive analysis of a sample (in this case, scrap jewelry) and can provide results that will be more accurate than other methods (anywhere from 0.1% to 1% accuracy).  Of course, in the video report the price difference is primarily based on how the gold buyer “pays out” – however, I would imagine that if their ever is a company that ‘sets standards’ for jewelry buy-back companies they would rank a user of XRF technology fairly high.

Why is XRF an important tool for gold buyers? 
As gold continues to climb, the people selling gold will get more savvy and begin looking for gold buyers using the best technology to show them the percentage of gold they are selling.  From what many Quickshot XRF users are saying; many sellers already are…

Read All About It: New Design for Gold Tester

XRF Analyzer NewsIn our News section we have added an article covering the various changes to our gold testing system.  The QSX-79T is an x-ray fluorescence unit that performs best for gold content of a sample because of its detection system.  It has performed very well to this point we wanted to redesign it so that it was more compact (takes up less bench space) and so that is had the newest version of software.

We are very excited about the software addition as this package sets the QSX-79T apart from otherXRF Analyzers that are low-cost gold testing options.  The system is a great value – providing accurate gold content information quickly and easily.

Read all about the updates at the News Page (link here) and visit the following two links for more information on the system:
- QSX-79T Gold Tester Instrument Page
- Software Package Overview Page (from QSX-295T)

Stores Pulling Jewelry Due to Cadmium Content

It seems like every other Quickshot XRF-Blog entry lately has either been about Chinese Drywall (handheld systems can identify strontium content and, therefore, defective drywall) or Cadmium levels of jewelry. 
These topics are important, though, so we try to pass along proper updates when we can.

The latest update is on the Cadmium concerns.  While I see daily reports, articles, blog entries, etc on the topic the latest one is from CBS News.  The article notes that a California environmental group has been testing jewelry and finding extreme levels of Cadmium.  The big difference is that while other testing has been on cheap childrens jewelry, this one focused on adult jewelry; items you might not think would contain lead or cadmium.

While their is not currently an law regarding Cadmium levels in jewelry the environmental group is seeking a ban on Cadmium and proposing a lawsuit related to the toxic metal.

jewelry-cadmiumWal-Mart recently pulled product from its shelves after learning of high Cadmium levels and because of the environmental groups testing another major chain pulled product from all of its stores.  Recalls are costly for retailers; they could just test before product hits shelves.

Cadmium awareness is certainly growing.  It will continue to affect retailers, distributors and importers – but hopefully not consumers.  In-house testing of product is simple, fast and relatively inexpensive with Handheld XRF Analyzers from QSX Instruments.

Keep checking back for additional updates, post your thoughts on Cadmium testing or x-ray fluorescence and contact Quickshot XRF anytime.

Defective Drywall Update – Strontium Testing

The QSX Application Specialists have been doing some work since the first XRF-Blog post about the potential use of x-ray fluorescence in detecting defective drywall (blog post linked).  We have been working with a few organizations involved in home testing and utilized the Quickshot XRF handheld system to test a few pieces of both acceptable and defective drywall.

Is this defective drywall?

Is this defective drywall?

The initial results were very promising.  In only 5 seconds our analyzer can offer information on Strontium (Sr) content in a piece of drywall with good accuracy.  Our Application Specialists have found its best to run tests at 5 second measurement times and, if those results fall within a specified parts-per-million (ppm) range then do a 20 second test for increased accuracy.

Testing for Strontium levels in drywall with Handheld XRF Analyzers has been reviewed by the CPSC and proven as an effective method of detecting defective drywall.  If levels are under a specified amount then the piece can be considered acceptable.  If, however, the ppm levels exceed that amount then further testing should be performed. 

X-ray fluorescence is popular for a variety of applications because it is a nondestructive test method.  For this reason it is gaining interest for the drywall testing – no need to destroy something that it acceptable.

Contact Quickshot XRF (here) to discuss this new application  and check back as updates are posted.