Lead screening tests canceled

Saturday, February 23, 2008 | 4:24 p.m. CST; updated 9:50 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — Parents will have to wait a couple of weeks to have their children’s toys tested for lead after the screening machines arrived in Columbia damaged.

The lead screening was scheduled for Saturday at the Columbia Public Library but had to be canceled due to mechanical problems. The machines, used to scan for lead in metal, plastic or painted wooden toys, arrived from Maryland damaged.

The machines, the Niton XL3T: XRF Analyzer, costs $40,000, and there are only two that travel around the country for public screenings, said Bryan K. Podkul, product manager for ATC Associates Inc., the company that screens for lead.

Podkul said the machines emit energy into painted or plastic surfaces and then analyzes energy bounced back into the machine.

The machines are extremely accurate and only used to screen toys but will soon be used to scan other metal, plastic or painted wood products, Associate Attorney General Dave Angle said. The event was sponsored by the state attorney general’s office, Columbia Public Library, ATC and Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

The screening will be rescheduled within the next three weeks. For more information, go to

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