One of the many applications that XRF Analyzers are used for is to test lead content in various product lines; including jewelry. Below is a brief overview of how lead content regulations are affecting the jewelry industry.
EDX-2800 : Benchtop XRF
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EDX-3000 : Lowest Cost Desktop XRF
The lowest priced XRF that will accurately detect lead content in jewelry
Why is lead-content in jewelry a concern?
It has been noted that lead is toxic. It is especially hazardous to young children who, through exposure to even low levels of lead, can have a variety of permanent developmental and behavioral problems. One well publicized case resulted in the unfortunate death of a four-year-old Minnesota boy from acute lead poisoning after swallowing a heart shaped charm that contained high levels of lead. Jewelry, commonly costume jewelry, is one of many ways that children can be put in contact with hazardous substances such as lead.
Hazardous Substance Regulations begin...In 2004, a lawsuit was filed under California's Proposition-65 against retailers for selling jewelry that contained dengerous amounts of lead. The lawsuit was filed by the states Attorney General's Office and two environmental groups (groups such as these play a major role in the increased public awareness of the dangers that toxic metals present). Shortly after the resolution of that lawsuit, California enacted the Lead-Containing Jewelry Law; which regulates the amount of lead in children's jewelry. Additional information on California's law can be reviewed here.
California's Lead-Containing Jewelry Law affects manufacturers, retailers and distributors that sell jewerly into the state...since that law was enacted, however, several additional states have developed similar regulations; including Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, etc. It is not just children’s jewelry that is affected by regulations as some states are also regulating content levels in body piercing jewelry and for all other jewelry.
Is X-Ray Fluorescence the best method for testing?
X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive testing method that can read below the parts-per-million (ppm) levels in the various regulations on jewelry. XRF has been proven as an effective screening tool for hazardous substances and is widely accepted as an appropriate method for in-house screening of lead in jewelry. Review this XRF-Blog Entry for more detail...
Who is responsible for proving content levels?
These jewelry regulations affect any organization or person that manufactures, distributes or sells products into a regulated state. It should be noted that many states are developing individual regulations and the acceptable levels of hazardous substance vary from state to state (this XRF-Blog article touches upon a similar situation). Everybody from small discount stores to national retailers to the manufacturers and importers need to be aware of the legislations that affect their markets.
Skyray XRF can provide the solution to your lead content testing needs. Plus, Skyray XRF instruments often provide additional testing options that organizations in the jewelry industry require (i.e. gold karat analysis, coating thickness measurements, etc). XRF is often the preferred testing instrument because of the all-in-one capabilities.