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Question

How can I be sure some other parts I purchased do not contain lead? Is there a simple test?

Answer

There are simple tests for lead available, though you should approach the whole issue with a bit of care. If you suspect that you have purchased items that contain lead (especially if you plan to resell them), one of the best initial steps is to ask the supplier to certify the composition of the product. In a product sales cycle, all parts of the supply chain are responsible for notice of lead content in jewelry components; especially those marketed to children

We have a section on Lead Testing available that will give you details of the three most common approaches, swab testing, XRF Analysis and ICPMS. These tests range from those able to done in your home for $4 each, to those requiring extremely sophisticated laboratory equipment and may cost over $250 for each test performed.

While this information should answer most questions about the testing procedures themselves, you should first ask yourself, "Why (and for whom) do I want to test the item?" If you have questions about the possible lead content of a single personal item you don't plan to sell, using the basic swab test is a good fit, but if your question about lead testing comes in response to a need to comply with the recent California (and soon to be effect Federal standards), you’ll find that the swab tests are not acceptable.

 

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