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SGCD Announces Formation of Regulatory and Technical PanelThe Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators (SGCD) has formed a new Regulatory and Technical Panel headed by former SGCD president Paul Duffer, Ph.D., who recently retired from PPG Industries. Duffer brings many years of technical expertise to the panel, which will also consist of experts in the regulatory, testing and business management areas. The panel will further strengthen the society’s position as the decorator’s resource.
CPSC Legislation to Affect Glass and Ceramic IndustriesThe industry is struggling to understand the meaning of recently passed legislation in the U.S. House and Senate regarding use of lead in children’s products. The Senate legislation calls for lead content of no more than 300 ppm in children’s products for the next three years, then 100 ppm thereafter. The Senate defines children as those seven years or younger.
Similar legislation has passed in the House, but the threshold is 600 ppm for two years and then 300 ppm for two years, after which it moves to 100 pm. The House defines a child as being 12 years or younger. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has appointed conferees to negotiate the final form of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act.
Glass or ceramic ware decorated with cartoon motifs and other children’s themes would be affected by this legislation. The standards would take effect one year after the bill is enacted. The bill does include a whistle-blower provision protecting employees who report violations from adverse treatment. This issue will be reported on in detail as the SGCD receives notice of further developments.
Coca-Cola Finalizes Record Settlement in Prop 65 CaseThe Coca-Cola Co. and the California Attorney General have finalized a $2 million settlement that includes the largest civil penalty in Proposition 65 history. Finalized on April 29, the settlement includes provisions whereby Coca-Cola will immediately shift to the use of unleaded colors at its Mexico plants and phase out almost all existing refillable bottles with lead-bearing decorations within five years.
In addition, 60% of Coca-Cola’s bottles decorated with lead-bearing colors must be phased out by 2009, compared to a seven-year phase-out period for PepsiCO, Dr. Pepper and 7-UP. Under the agreement, Coca-Cola will pay $1.25 million in civil penalties and $600,000 to fund private monitoring and medical efforts.
In other Prop 65 news, beverage distributor Real Soda in Real Bottles, Inc. won a rare Proposition 65 case in a jury trial on March 25. The 10-2 verdict found that warnings on the company’s invoices were clear and reasonable.
Jacobs to RetireRichard Jacobs has announced that he will retire from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this year. Jacobs has long been associated with the glass and ceramic industries and has worked closely with the SGCD and other groups to develop industry standards for the use of lead-bearing colors on food surface and lip and rim areas.
Decorators Seek Additional Sources of ProductionWith the situation in China changing daily, decorators and manufacturers are increasingly looking to other Asian countries to remain competitive. Wages in China have increased by 25% in the past year, and the cost and instability of the country’s energy supply has put an additional strain on producers.
Increasingly, decorators are turning to Thailand and Vietnam, as well as other Asian countries, to fill the void. The SGCD will continue to follow these and other production issues that affect decorators and glass and ceramic producers worldwide.