Lead in Halloween Make-up

Happy Belated Halloween

Because of some computer issues, their has not been much activity on the Quickshot XRF website or blog lately.  However, we’re back up and running and saw this news story about lead in halloween make-up (click here)

The handheld analyzer from Quickshot XRF is a great way for organizations producing these items to do some quality control before shipping.  However, if the manufacturer doesn’t test, Handheld XRF can provide protection to consumers if the importer or reseller tests for lead in products for children

Hopefully next halloween the make-up children (and some adults) put on will not contain harmful materials!

Watching the first NFL game and…

Like a lot of people, last night I was watching the first NFL game of the 2009 season – the Titans vs the Steelers.  Coming back from a commercial, they had video of a steel plant and I was keeping my eyes open for somebody using an XRF Analyzer to verify the steel grade

I didn’t see an analyzer in that video but it is funny the different places that I have seen x-ray fluorescence on television.  Of course, with the lead content regulations on children products (CPSIA, Proposition-65, etc) many news broadcasts feature Handheld XRF.  However, I have also seen instruments on documentary shows about home inspections and one Discovery show about different metals as it discussed how XRF can be  used to verify metals.  My favorite siting of an XRF Analyzer in a TV show was on a detective/police show; a desktop x-ray fluorescence spectrometer unit was used in the crime laboratory (forensics application).

Since Quickshot XRF is so new to the market, none of the analyzers I’ve seen on television were ours – but if anybody from TV-Land is reading this; contact us about using one in the future!

CPSIA Lead Limits Get Lower

Our friends at the MJSA reminded us that August 14th, 2009 marked the lowering of federal limits for all CPSIA affected product lines.  The new limit is reduced from 600 parts-per-million (ppm) to 300 ppm.  For paint or a similar coating on a product intended for children age twelve and under, the limit is now 90 ppm.  An overview of the changing limits can be reviewed here.

This regulation affects all importers, manufacturers and retailers of childrens products (click for additional information on CPSIA and XRF).  The MJSA reminds us because of their concern relating to children’s jewelry but apparel and toy lines (among others) are also affected.

While XRF Analyzers are utilized by the CPSC for inspection of imported goods and is a proven method for in-house screening of products; the CPSC has still been reviewing its effectiveness in lead detection.  They recently released their report titled “Study on the Effectiveness, Precision, and Reliability of X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry and Other Alternative Methods for Measuring Lead in Paint” which will be reviewed and discussed in future XRF-Blog postings.

Quickshot XRF moving forward…

It is amazing that we are already at the  half way point of August.  It seems like ages ago that we first launched the Quickshot XRF analyzer line and this website but it has only been a month or two.

We have had great interest already because in todays economy, people want choices.  Particularly low cost choices that can give them the performance that they required – that’s what the Quickshot XRF line offers.

The most popular instrument has certainly been the Handheld XRF unit; distributors have found that alloy/steel grade verification is the most requested application; so it’s good that we completed the PMI-Software Package in time for them.  Of course, with RoHS and CPSIA regulations heating up; the hazardous substance software has been great to offer also.

We look forward to adding more distributors and working with you directly if needed so that we can provide that low-cost testing solution that you require.

Holding a Handheld XRF

Now and then, Quickshot XRF receives calls from companies that are using the QSX Handheld XRF Analyzer that have grown tired of holding the unit.  It is a light weight system (under four pounds) but measurement times can vary from five seconds up to three-hundred seconds – so it could be a long time holding the ‘gun’ over a sample.

Handheld XRF in Hands-Free Instrument Stand

Handheld XRF in Instrument Stand

When we receive these calls, we tell the user that they should do one of two things.  One option is to shorten the measurement time; of course, this is one variable that can affect an XRF analyzers accuracy so some people don’t want to shorten it or can’t for quality control procedure reasons.  The second option then, is to add the instrument stand to work with the unit.

The instrument stand makes the Handheld XRF more of a ‘desktop’ unit.  Attaching the handheld unit to the bottom of it so that it points up, a user would lock the trigger down and can then control the unit from the removable PDA.

With the stand from Quickshot XRF, the user can keep measurement times as long as they may require to obtain accurate results – and don’t have to worry about a sore wrist the next day.  However, if the user needs to take it on the road, they just remove it from the stand, put it in the carrying case and hit the road for accurate testing…

Check out the handhelds feature page to see the stand with ‘xrf gun’ mounted in it.