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14 Mar

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Lead testing using XRF analysis

March 14, 2018 | By |

XRF analysis can be a useful tool in determining the presence of lead in historic paint films. A portable handheld XRF ‘gun’ on site, allows a large number of samples to be tested in a relatively short period of time, and also has the benefit of being non-destructive.Analytical x-ray consultant Mike Dobby (http://www.mikedobby.com/) visited our workshops last year to provide training in the use of the portable XRF to our team, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day!

We have used a portable XRF on a number of projects recently to analyse paint films, wallpaper and historic render. Earlier this year we undertook an extensive lead survey to an interior in Whitehall, where we were also able to ascertain the presence of other significant elements such as zinc and arsenic, which informed our programme of architectural paint research.

The aim of the analysis was to ascertain not only the presence of lead, but also the concentration levels from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. The results of all of our phases of analysis and investigation formed part of a larger project to renovate this significant early 20th Century building.