Ceramic Industry

CERAMIC DECORATING: Toxics in Packaging Compliance

February 1, 2007
The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) sent letters in mid-2006 to six beverage distributors asking them to confirm compliance with the group's model packaging law that bans the intentional addition of four metals, including lead and cadmium, to packaging.


The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) sent letters in mid-2006 to six beverage distributors asking them to confirm compliance with the group's model packaging law that bans the intentional addition of four metals, including lead and cadmium, to packaging. Letters to these distributors asked each company to demonstrate compliance with the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) test for the glass bottles in question, or to claim the recycled content exemption from the model bill. The distributors were identified after TPCH conducted an aggressive screening program to sample compliance with state packaging laws.

TPCH conducted its screening effort using a portable Niton XRF spectroscope to detect the presence of the listed metals in states that have enacted the model legislation. A number of glass containers were sampled, along with a wide variety of other packaging materials.

To qualify for the model exemption, a glass or ceramic package producer must demonstrate that its ware would pass a TCLP test after preparing a sample using the ASTM C1606-04 method developed by the Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators (SGCD). TCLP results must not exceed 1.0 ppm for cadmium, 5.0 ppm for lead and 5.0 ppm for hexavalent chromium. Companies responding to TPCH generally claimed either the recycled materials exemption or provided TCLP with test results to claim the decorated glass exemption.

A glass exemption has been formally adopted by only three of the 19 states that have enacted the TPCH model legislation (often referred to as CONEG legislation). The full exemption is on the books in California, and partial exemptions were enacted in Illinois and Missouri. It is anticipated that TPCH will conduct another screening effort in 2007 to further its compliance efforts. For more details, contact Andy Bopp at (703) 838-2810.

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