Bagotronix Tech Support wrote:

Hello, all:

I was wondering if there are any easy, quick tests to determine if solder
has lead (Pb) in it, and what the approximate concentration might be. I
don't need a quantitative lab analysis, just a yes/no. A vendor told me
yesterday that their process has been lead-free for over a year now. Then
when I said that I don't want a lead-free process, they had their process
engineer call me back later and say that they don't use lead-free processes.
So I am wondering if the first guy made an honest mistake (he's not
technical), or if they are switching their story to cover up something.

You can buy lead test swabs for checking paint in your house at the local hardware
store. I think they turn red if Lead is present. I don't know if they only detect
the lead compound used in paint, or any lead, including elemental lead alloyed
with other metals. But, the kit is pretty cheap, and you should be able to try
it with solder still on a reel with a label, so you can verify what it detects.

Personally, I wish the lead-free hysteria would just go away. Lead usage in
PCBs such a small percentage of total lead usage, it's not worth the

Yeah, I agree! There's tons of this stuff in the environment from car batteries
and Pb-containing batteries in electronic products, and they're going crazy
over grams in the circuit boards, and the lead in TV tubes, that is essentially
Waterford crystal, and so unlikely to leach out in significant amounts.


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