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SciAps’s new XRF handheld simplifies lead paint detection

SciAps has developed the world’s first handheld XRF not to use radioactive isotopes for detecting high levels of lead paint in homes. ‘This greatly reduces the regulatory burden of owning and controlling radioactive materials and eliminating costly isotope replacement,’ the company says.

The SciAps X-550 Pb handheld analyser utilises X-ray spectroscopy with an X-ray tube and silicon drift detector instead of radioactive isotopes to measure lead in paint for compliance with US regulations.

The national housing and urban development, in tandem with the Environmental Protection Agency, established a certification scheme for XRF equipment known as the Performance Characteristics Sheet (PCS).

An analysis instrument has the ability to accurately identify samples as positive or negative according to the federal action level for residential lead paint, which is 1.0 milligrams of lead per cm2. SciAps X-550 Pb also has accepted PCS at action limits of 0.7 mg/cm2 and 0.5 mg/cm2.

‘It’s one of only two instruments to achieve this standard and the only non-isotope instrument ever to hold a PCS at all three levels. According to the PCS, SciAps X-550 Pb delivered no false positives, no false negatives, and no inconclusive tests, even at the 0.5 mg/cm2 level.’

SciAps says users typically replace the decaying radioactive source every 1-2 years. ‘Our system eliminates the concerns and limitations of radioactivity, as well as the need to replace the radioactive isotopes. Users will experience the same analysis speed on day 1 or on day 1 001.’

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