Press Release: SciAps XRF eliminates need for radioactive isotope in lead paint analysis

February 28, 2022

For immediate release

February 22, 2022

SciAps XRF is the first non-isotope handheld XRF with accepted PCS at three action levels for HUD lead paint assessments

Woburn, Mass.— SciAps, Inc., is pleased to announce that the world’s only handheld XRF not using a radioactive isotope for residential lead paint detection has been accepted for use in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing,” 2012 Edition.

SciAps technology team has succeeded in making a lead paint analyzer for HUD/EPA work that eliminates the need for a radioactive isotope, greatly reducing the regulatory burden of owning and controlling radioactive materials and eliminating costly isotope replacement. SciAps X-550 Pb handheld analyzer utilizes X-ray spectroscopy with an X-ray tube and silicon drift detector instead of radioactive isotopes to measure lead in paint for compliance with HUD/EPA regulations. The HUD Performance Characteristic Sheet, based on tests of 146 real-world samples collected from around the country, demonstrates that the analyzer has “no inconclusive range.”

This is a first for an X-ray tube-based lead paint analyzer. The PCS data set demonstrates the instrument’s 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 square centimeter. 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.

Handheld XRF now provides a viable option to instruments that perform radioactive isotope testing, currently the most common option for in-field residential lead paint testing. The safety and security regulatory burden is high for isotope-containing instruments: owners need to store them properly, track use, maintain detailed location logs, and perform leak testing every six months. Users then must replace the decaying radioactive source every 1-2 years. The SciAps 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 1001.

SciAps, Inc., is a Boston-based instrumentation company specializing in handheld portable analytical instruments to measure any element, any place on the planet. Their industry-leading X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laser-based (LIBS) analyzers are at work across every major industry, including oil/gas, metals and mining, aerospace, battery and strategic metals (lithium, rare-earth elements), scrap metal recycling, chemical and petrochemical, military, forensics and law enforcement. SciAps instruments are configured to measure elements in all types of materials, so applications are always expanding, recently including space research, pandemic anti-viral coatings, agriculture, and environmental contaminants.

The new standard for lead paint analysis

Fastest tests: Test in 2-6 seconds, and never lose speed over time. Quick Mode preferred for PCS types of testing, and Timed Mode for industrial lead paint testing. Highest levels of accuracy : No substrate corrections, no inconclusive ranges or tests, even for action levels as low as 0.5 mg/cm2. No radioactive isotopes: Greatly reduces the burden of owning and controlling radioactive materials and costly replacement.

SciAps X-550 Pb
Available apps

The X-550 Pb is available with either a rhodium X-ray tube anode or gold X-ray tube anode, depending on whether operators also want to perform environmental testing for EPA Priority Pollutant and RCRA metals, or alloy or mining materials analysis. Includes: Lead Paint App based on published PCS standard. Optional apps: Lead in Soil, Alloy, Geochem (Mining), Empirical, Environmental Metals. Coming soon: Lead in dust wipes and air filters (NIOSH 7702).

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