High Definition X-ray Fluorescence (HD XRF) is used to detect the element bromine in products Healthy Stuff tests.  It does not distinguish between chemical forms of bromine or identify molecular structure.

HD XRF is an elemental analysis technique with greater sensitivity than standard XRF. Our instrument from XOS uses monochromatic excitation energies of 7, 17, and 33 keV. The spot size is one millimeter. Elements heavier than aluminum are measurable. The detection limit for bromine is below one part per million.

While XRF testing cannot identify molecular structure of chemicals, detecting bromine greater than 400 ppm has been successfully used to infer the presence of brominated flame retardant chemicals, depending on the sample matrix. For fabric and foam matrices from child car seats, XRF bromine detection has been a reasonably accurate indicator of brominated flame retardants.  In our 2015 car seat report XRF detection of Br was consistent with GC/MS detection of BFRs for 91% of samples. XRF nondetection of Br was consistent with GC/MS nondetection of BFRs for 96% of samples. (n=35)

About Bromine

Bromine (Br) exists in nature in the form of salts in seawater and underground deposits. Organic bromine compounds, which are created through chemical reactions in laboratories and factories, are used for a wide range of industrial purposes. Bromine is the key element in brominated flame retardants (BFRs). BFRs are used as flame retardants in many types of consumer products.

Published on September 22, 2016

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