Toy screening with XRF

Quick on-site testing with the Toy Checker

Parents and grandparents want to buy not only inexpensive but also safe toys. Toy manufacturers have to observe a whole range of substance bans and also carry out extensive and costly tests on random samples. However, random sampling alone is not sufficient, as has been seen in recent recall campaigns. For the first time, a portable analyzer is now available with the Toy Checker, which can detect all toxic elements according to EN 71-3 by a quick test (screening) non-destructively and cost-effectively.

The idea of screening toys

The use of the XRF method as a rapid test has already proven itself in the testing of electrical appliances. There, the "screening" is part of the test standard DIN EN 62321 to prove RoHS conformity. All toxic elements of the toy test standard (EN 71-3) can also be measured. These are the elements lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, antimony, selenium and barium (Pb, Cd, As, Hg, Sb, Se, Ba). Especially the analysis of barium is only possible with the 50-KV miniature X-ray tube used in the Toy Checker.

Hard to understand for parents: The toxic elements may be contained in toys quite legally. Only they must not be able to be released (according to test standard EN 71-3), the limits apply to the so-called "migration". The Toy Checker can be used to check whether toxic elements are present at all.

If the result is positive (e.g. lead - significantly found) there are two options:

  • The toy is tested in the chemical laboratory with the classical methods for compliance with the migration limits. Here, the Toy Checker enables a targeted and cost-saving pre-selection of the samples for the laboratory examination.
  • The toy manufacturer wants to avoid toxic elements in general (regardless of the migration limit). This is where the test is particularly easy, because the Toy Checker reliably indicates any conspicuousness. This means that chemical analyses of the toxic elements can be dispensed with completely. Expensive laboratory tests can be directed to those substances for which there is no rapid test yet, such as PAHs and azo dyes.

Toy checker in use

The Toy Checker is already used by a number of toy manufacturers to check incoming goods, stock levels and supplier certificates. The German Association of the Toy Industry (DVSI) offers its members corresponding services with the Toy Checker. Surveillance authorities of the German states use the Toy Checker for market surveillance. For the first time, toys in the trade, in the warehouse and during import can be tested on a large scale directly on site. Conspicuous test samples are secured by the authorities and subjected to further laboratory tests.

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