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March/April 2009

X-Ray Spectrometry

The presence of lead in toys and other consumer products continues to make headlines. A U.S. law enacted in August 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, addresses the lead issue and makes provisions for the use of X-ray spectrometry in testing for lead content.

To aid the toy and consumer products industries in using X-ray spectrometry for lead detection and meet the requirements of CPSIA, ASTM International Committee F40 on Declarable Substances is developing a proposed new standard, WK21957, Test Method for Identification and Quantification of Lead in Paint and Other Coatings Using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry (EDXRF).

According to Stanislaw Piorek, principal research scientist, NITON Analyzers business unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, and a member of Committee F40, using X-ray spectrometry allows for nondestructive testing for lead, both in a product and within the paint that covers it. While an ASTM standard that covers XRF testing in paint for lead did exist until January 2009, the proposed new standard will be more appropriate for use with toys and other consumer products.

WK21957 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F40.01 on Test Methods. All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of the subcommittee and of Committee F40.


Technical Information: Stanislaw Piorek, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Billerica, Mass.

Phone: 800-875-1578

ASTM Staff: Brynn Murphy

Phone: 610-832-9640