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CPSIA Screening and the role of Quickshot XRF Analyzers

In late 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was put into place by the United States Congress. The law increases the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), imposes new testing and documentation requirements, and sets new acceptable levels of several hazardous substances (lead is the most discussed, but cadmium, mercury and others are regulated).
 
CPSIA targets anything known as a ‘children’s product’; where the product is designed primarily for children twelve (12) years or younger. The act affects many industries including apparel, toys, children jewelry, etc. on various levels; from importer to manufacturer to reseller. Many affected industries and organizations are fighting for exemption from the law; which will eventually require products to contain less than 100 parts-per-million (ppm) of lead and the other banned substances.  (Visit our XRF-Blog for updates on the CPSIA)
 
CPSIA Screening EquipmentHow X-Ray Fluorescence Comes Into Play…
The CPSC is still considering the exact role of XRF Analyzers in testing for hazardous substances in the affected product lines. While details on the technologies role will be confirmed in the near future; it is accepted that XRF can provide in-house screening for hazardous substances.
 
With the ability to read well below the required ppm levels (detection limits are often in the single digits or teens with an accuracy of 0.5% to 5% depending on variables) XRF provides a fast, nondestructive method of determining the presence of hazardous materials.  The technology can be used with minimal training and with Handheld XRF companies have a portable device that can be rented or purchased to meet their screening needs.  
See how simple the Quickshot XRF analyzer is to use in this video demonstration.
 
X-ray fluorescence technology can be used to test incoming goods to verify that the hazardous substance levels that a supplier reports is true. If a product exceeds the regulated levels of lead, cadmium, etc then the user of the XRF would send the item out for additional, destructive testing. 
 
The CPSC Utilizes Handheld XRF for Screening Goods…

It has been noted on several websites and reports we have read that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) uses Handheld XRF Analyzers. The agency began using the device when highly publicized product recalls took place; recalls that eventually lead to the CPSIA law. The CPSC has noted that XRF is a great device for screening products for lead and heavy elements such as cadmium and chromium. The technology is, again, only used as a screening device with laboratory testing being performed on any questionable items.

The Quickshot XRF Solution

Until recently, when reviewing x-ray fluorescence analyzers, companies only had two or three instrument lines to choose from. However, Quickshot XRF now offers a low-cost alternative to those analyzer lines with the release of the QSX-HH Handheld XRF with easy to navigate HS-Software Package for consistent and accurate detection of hazardous substances.  Also, with our various XRF rental plans, companies can use a system for short term needs or rent the technology to confirm that the investment will be beneficial to their organization for the long-term (we provide 100% credit of rental fees to purchase price of systems).  
Some organizations currently using our system for CSPIA Screening include:
     -  Sporting Good Manufacturers
     -  Cosmetics Manufacturers and Importers
     -  Clothing/Accessories Manufacturers and Importers
     -  Arts and Crafts Suppliers

Feel free to contact Quickshot XRF if you have questions on the QSX-HH for hazardous substance screening or would like to discuss the CPSIA and how it may affect your organization. We look forward to offering solutions to your needs.

Related Material and Readings:
-  CPSC Release (06/11): feasability of testing at sub-100ppm levels in consumer goods
          * details the variability of lead content within a single component/part
Playthings Magazine notes the Quickshot XRF Rental Option
Toy Industry Association statement of XRF technology (with CPSIA Resource Page)