Friday, January 23, 2009

The Cost of Compliance - Volume 3 - Sending your items for XRF testing

Special Edition! Two posts in one day...OY! I just couldn't wait the whole weekend to post. Ok, I’ve been sitting on this information for a week, dying to share it with everyone. But whenever I endorse a company, I want to be sure that my endorsement is well deserved. So I waited to get my results back from my tests to ensure that I could really recommend this company. And I can recommend this company with no reservation.

The Breaking News! I have found an affordable place to get your items XRF tested. I sent them an email and heard back early the following morning from Seth Goldberg, President of the company. A few minutes later, I had him on the phone and we talked for nearly an hour. Since then, we’ve talked several more times at length. Essco Safety Check is a small business just like mine. As a result, Seth understands the implications of CPSIA on my business and he wants to help people like me. His service and accessibility have been beyond reproach. And to me, that type of personal service is really valuable. Not to mention he’s an expert in the field.

Essco Safety Check charges by the hour and they can do ~50 tests per hour. I sent in 200+ components for my items and will be charged only $500 for their services. While they charge by the hour, break that down and it was about $2.25 per item. Based on all the other quotes I’ve seen from various companies as well as renting my own XRF gun, this was definitely the most cost effective. And here’s what I got for my money:

1) ~225 items XRF tested
2) All the data from each test in excel format
3) A certificate for each test detailing a picture of the item, a graph of the contents, and a pass/fail reading (some other things are on there but these things were most relevant to me)
4) A CD with this company’s software detailing all the information needed for me to make my GCC (coming to me when he returns my items via snail mail)
5) Also, this company is working on a way to make data available in HTML so you can make it accessible on your website or potentially have your data hosted on theirs.
6) He will re-run the data based on the changing lead levels over time. In my case, 99% of my items tested 0 and the other 1% were less than 27ppm, so there would be no need to re-run as that is well below the eventual 90ppm limit that will be imposed. But that kind of follow up service may be very important to some people!

Essco Safety Check
2018 156th Ave NE
Suite 100, Building F
Bellevue, WA 98007
P: 425-749-4136
Seth Goldberg, President:

How long did it take? I mailed my package to them on Tuesday. They received it Thursday (2 days from PA to WA using USPS...WOW!), and I had my results early evening on Friday. I’m not really sure you can get much better than that. And if you’re local and don’t want to send your stuff to him, Seth will come to you. After reading this, if you decide to contact Seth at Essco Safety Check, please tell him that Jessica from BuggaLove recommended him to you. It’s one way I have to show him how much I appreciated his service.


Juvie said...

Hi Jessica,
I'm happy that this went so well for you! Brava. Two questions: Is this lab CPSC accredited? If not, won't you have to find someone else and re-test in August? Also, are we certain that component testing is OK? I was under the impression that each SKU has to be tested, not each component. Or is this still up in the air? Thanks!

Jessica said...

Thanks for your questions! I'm doing XRF testing as part of a "reasonable testing program" Please see my blog post from Monday for more details on this. I did send a few of my final products in for testing, as well as all the components.

In terms of August, XRF testing is not currently an acceptable means of testing. I am hoping that will change, but currently only the 3rd party, CPSC accredited lab testing is acceptable for August. You can read my blog post from early today regarding the costs I found associated with that. But this method will keep me compliant until August as part of a "reasonable testing program".

Since I am the manufacturer of an item, I don't necessarily have a SKU. My items aren't made in batches that way. But yes, according to the prescribed method of testing for August, a final product would require testing not components.

All other questions, I'll try to answer in my next blog post! So feel free to ask away here in my comments section!

amy said...

Thanks off to contact him!

Rachel said...

That's awesome to share this info, I'm sure it will help a lot of people. What a pain for the kid crafters! But glad it went well...

Auntie Jill said...

Thank you for sharing this. I don't know what the future holds, but people like you give me hope that we'll all stay in business somehow and this priceless part of our culture (handmade) won't be lost.

Pamela Kramer said...

I'm still confused. I guess you're saying that they are not an accredited lab? I certainly appreciate your research. I've been doing much of my own as well. It's fun isn't it? Good Luck to you.

Jessica said...

XRF testing is not laboratory testing in that sense. Third party accredited laboratory testing is not mandatory until August 2009. Until August 2009, a "reasonable testing program" can be used to create your GCC (general conformity certificate). See my blog post on GCCs for more information. And my blog post on Testing Volume 2 gives you a list of accredited labs, those do DIGESTIVE testing. XRF is not digestive testing.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica-
Got a heads up to check out this post from the HTA site.
Thank you for the write up. There is nothing like a recommendation!
Great blog and hope you can check mine out too.

Kidcessory Haven