The 2017 Solar Eclipse, View it With SPEX CertiPrep!


On Monday, August 21, 2017 there will be a solar eclipse across the United States. Now why is this eclipse special you ask… this is the first time since 1880 that a total solar eclipse will occur exclusively over the United States. No other country will see totality, though many countries will see a partial eclipse of the sun.2 The eclipse will take about 90 minutes to cross the United States and pass through about 12 states.3

So what exactly is a total solar eclipse? A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blocks the solar disk. In a total solar eclipse, the narrowest part of the path (where the Sun is completely blocked and the Moon casts its darkest shadow, called the umbra) is called the “zone of totality”.

What are the scientific benefits of the eclipse? The total solar eclipse offers scientists a unique opportunity to pursue a number of unique science and engineering problems. The very dark color of the moon can be used to calibrate X-ray imagers to properly record the ‘zero signal’ state, while the eclipse will block out the disk of the sun letting the light from the mysterious inner corona within 100 km of the solar photosphere shine into various experiments for detailed study.1

Fun Fact! If you are one of the lucky ones in the totality zone, you may see stars in the daytime! As the sky darkens, planets and stars hidden in the sky by the Sun’s bright light will reappear. Look for Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus during totality.2

View the Eclipse with SPEX CertiPrep
SPEX CertiPrep would like to help you view the eclipse with us! All U.S. web orders placed on August 14th through August 18th will receive a pair of eclipse glasses for your viewing pleasure.

Check out this awesome video by NASA to learn more about the eclipse!

Image and Video sourced from

July 29th is National Lipstick Day


National Lipstick Day is on July 29th, 2017. In honor of National Lipstick Day, SPEX CertiPrep would like to share our App Note
Analysis of Lipstick for Toxic Elements using ICP-MS 

Evidence of the use of cosmetics, including lipstick, has been found in civilizations as early as ancient Mesopotamia. Many of the cosmetics used throughout history have contained potentially toxic elements and other contaminants. Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics containing large amounts of lead and mercury. Modern cosmetics are perceived to be free of dangerous toxins due to widespread regulation of many consumer products. The FDA, which oversees the regulation of cosmetic products, does not have regulations governing the level of toxic or dangerous contaminants in finished products, such as lipsticks. The FDA regulates limits on compound concentrations of additives and colorants, but no overall regulation is in place for the finished product’s level of potential contamination.
Studies prior to 2012 have found levels of lead up to 3 ppm in lipstick. The purpose of this study was to re-examine the potential for lead contamination in lipstick and determine if any other potentially toxic metals were present in these lipsticks. 48 lip products including lipsticks, lip glosses, moisturizing sticks, and lip stains were tested for the presence of toxic elements by ICP-MS.

Fun Facts About Lipstick

The first manmade lipsticks appeared around four to five thousand years ago in Ancient Mesopotamia

Some civilizations did not allow women to appear in public without extensive facial makeup.

80% of American women regularly wear lipstick, and over 25% won’t leave the house without wearing it.
Lipsticks can contain fish scales and castor oil that provides lips with a shiny film that can’t be smeared easily.
The most famous actresses that popularized lipsticks were Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor

Happy Independence Day!


From all of us at SPEX CertiPrep

Our US office will be closed on Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. We will reopen on Wednesday, July 5th.

Want your order shipped before the Independence Day holiday?
All stock orders received by 3 PM EDT on Friday, June 30th will ship that day.
To place an order, go to, call us at 732.549.7144 or email us at

Summer is Here! Check Out Our Summer Issue of SPEX Speaker.


SPEX Speaker – Summer 2017 Issue Now Available

Speciation In Our World
In this issue we discuss the importance of arsenic speciation in rice products and a case study for methylmercury poisoning in Japan.


An In-Depth Look at the Importance of Arsenic Speciation in Rice Products
ABSTRACT:  Rice is an agricultural commodity of high economic and nutritional importance around the world.  Rice is a staple for nearly half of the world’s seven billion people with between 500 – 8000 million metric tons consumed each year.  Rice consists as a staple in more than 80% of Asian diets.  In recent years, there have been ongoing studies pointing to high levels of natural arsenic accumulation in rice. Rice is unique among the grains to exhibit this kind of contamination and the reasons for it are as interesting as they are necessary to understand in order to ensure a safe food supply.  Take a look at our article on rice and arsenic species in this issue!

A Case of Methylmercury Poisoning
ABSTRACT: Mercury is a common environmental and aquatic contaminant this found as both natural chemical by-products and persistent pollutants from agricultural and industrial processes.  In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Japanese citizens were plagued by mysterious neurological symptoms which later would be linked to industrial chemical manufacturing discharges into bays and rivers.  Our article on a historical methyl mercury poisoning event is featured in this issue’s discussion of speciation in our world.

Click here to view the most recent issue

Today the US Celebrates Flag Day


Flag Day honors the resolution from the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 which called for an official United States Flag

Here are some interesting facts about Flag Day and the American Flag
  • Flag Day is not a federal holiday, however, it is a state holiday in Pennsylvania
  • The colors of the American Flag are quite significant
    • Red symbolizes hardiness and valor
    • White symbolizes purity and innocence
    • Blue symbolizes vigilance, perseverance and justice
  • For a while the U.S. added stars and stripes to the flag when welcoming new states. As the country continued to add new states, the U.S. decided to go back to 13 stripes to represent the original 13 colonies
  • A local Philadelphia seamstress, Betsy Ross, sewed the original United States flag
  • Why stars and stripes? Stars are considered a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun
Know any other interesting and fun facts about the American Flag? Tweet us with your facts @SPEXCertiPrep

Tired of Mixing Your Own Standards? Let SPEX CertiPrep Save You Valuable Time!

SPEX CertiPrep offers Custom Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) because we realize that no two laboratories face exactly the same samples or have precisely the same requirements.

With SPEX CertiPrep’s custom CRM program, you can create custom standards to meet your specific laboratory needs. Our specialists will be happy to discuss combination of analytes, concentrations and preferred matrices with you. Our chemists will then design the most compatible, stable mixture using our comprehensive supply of starting materials and certified solutions.

Features of SPEX CertiPrep Custom Standards

  • Single and multi-component standards manufactured to meet your exact specifications
  • Packaged in a variety of convenient sizes and packaging types
  • Concentration, accuracy and stability of components guaranteed
  • Private labeling available
  • Custom packaging available; options to package in multi-packs or kits
  • SDS available in multiple languages

For additional information and to request your custom standard quote visit or contact us at +1.732.549.7144 or via email at


Speciation Analysis


Analytical Standards for Single & Dual Speciation Analysis

Speciation analysis has become common in many testing fields, including in the environmental, food and pharmaceutical testing labs. To analyze species in a sample requires Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for sample verification and method validation.
SPEX CertiPrep offers a wide variety of speciation standards, certified to the strictest ISO Guide 34 guidelines and tested on our own LC-ICP-MS.
Single and Multi-Element Speciation Standards include Arsenic (+3), Arsenic (+5), Chromium (+3), Chromium (+6), Selenium (+4), and Selenium (+6).
Please see our Guide to Speciation and Speciation Product Flyer for product details.


What is speciation analysis?
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) defines speciation as ‘the distribution of an element amongst defined chemical species in a system’. Speciation analysis is the analytical process of identifying and/or measuring the amounts of one or more individual chemical species in a sample.
For additional product information, contact us at +1.732.549.7144 or

Accreditation is Key


Calibrate with Confidence® with SPEX CertiPrep!

To ensure the validity of results from today’s high performance instrumentation, SPEX CertiPrep has developed am extensive line of the highest quality Certified Reference Materials (CRMs). How can we prove it?

We offer three levels of ISO Accreditation:

ISO 9001: 2008 Customer Satisfaction
• Open to all types of organizations
• Written procedures
• Documented complaints

ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Technically Sound Products
• Specifically for organizations carrying out testing and/or calibrations
• Competent at quality and related tests
• Consistent manufacturing

ISO Guide 34:2009 Traceable & Accurate Reference Materials
• Specifically for reference material producers
• Validate methods to prove accuracy
• Report uncertainty and sources of error

SPEX CertiPrep is proud to be accredited by all three. By taking the extra steps of choosing to demonstrate our competence and comply with these standards, we are continuously proving that our tests and calibration results are technically competent and our products truly are of the highest quality.

Click here for details or contact is at 800.LAB.SPEX or via email at

Celebrate the drive, innovation and passion of America’s small businesses


SPEX CertiPrep is a small business dedicated to not only meeting, but also exceeding your expectations through unparalleled value-added service. Our commitment to quality is the key element to the success of our business. Celebrate the Drive, Innovation and Passion of America’s Small Businesses like SPEX CertiPrep.

Why Support Small Business?1
  • When we support small business, jobs are created and local communities preserve their unique culture.
  • Because this country’s 28 million small businesses create nearly two out of three jobs in our economy, we cannot resolve ourselves to create jobs and spur economic growth in America without discussing ways to support our entrepreneurs.
  • Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our nation’s promise.



SPEX CertiPrep products are proudly made in the United States. We are based in Metuchen, New Jersey and have been servicing the scientific community since 1954.
We are committed to providing products that meet your required specifications by providing superior Certified Reference Materials for Analytical Spectroscopy and Chromatography. Made for Chemists by Chemists®

Why Buy American?2
  •  JobsThe most common reason shoppers buy American made products is to help save or create jobs in the United States.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint. Products made overseas have a higher carbon footprint than U.S. made goods. Goods made in China or India have to be shipped all the way across the ocean to reach American stores, burning fossil fuel and spewing out greenhouse gases with every mile they travel.
  • Less Pollution. One reason it’s cheaper to make goods in developing countries is that many of them have few or no regulations to protect the health of the air and water. Many factories overseas that produce goods for export to the United States also produce large amounts of hazardous chemicals that pollute the air, water, and soil.
  • A Stronger Economy. Buying American-made goods doesn’t just support the workers who make those goods. Its benefits also ripple out through the entire economy. When American factories prosper, they hire American construction firms to expand their buildings, American accounting firms to handle their money, and American energy suppliers to provide them with power.

1. “STATE/LOCAL” SBA. Web. 03 May 2017.
2. Livingston, Amy. “Topics.” Money Crashers. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.