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Sukhpreet Sandhu and Chris Bickley of The Birmingham Assay Office explain the expertise applied in testing for nickel compliance. A February morning. It’s still dark outside, but inside the Birmingham Assay Office is a hive of industry, as a team of white-coated technicians start another shift in the Laboratory. Sukhpreet Sandhu looks down the apparently endless line of neatly numbered, empty flasks, and draws a deep breath. It’s going to be a busy day. Sukhpreet and her colleague Chris Bickley are two members of a team of technicians currently carrying out nickel release testing for customers of the Laboratory at the Birmingham Assay Office. Recent changes to the test method have effectively reduced the compliance level demanded by this important piece of product safety legislation and the team is processing hundreds of samples a day to ensure they comply, prior to the new test becoming mandatory on 1 March 2013. Nickel has been regulated by EU legislation since 2000 and there are clearly defined limits as to how much nickel can be released from any item that is intended to come into prolonged and direct contact with the skin. The legislation, which has now been incorporated into the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) Regulation, requires the release test to be carried out using a........CONTINUE READING To read more about the changes to the Nickel Regulations make sure to visit our meet the experts page on The Birmingham Assay Office website – http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/meet_the_experts/nickel_compliance_labexpert.html

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