Toxics in Packaging Compliance with XRF Guns

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Toxics in Packaging Compliance with XRF Guns

The XRF gun can be used to help ensure compliance with Toxics in Packaging Laws.  The Toxics in Packaging Clearing House (TPCH) was formed in 1992 to target toxic elements in packaging and in the waste stream. Scientific studies have shown to pose significant environmental and health hazards. In the US, there are currently 19 States with Toxics in Packaging Laws.  The TPCH indicates that by paying attention to the sample matrix, sample thickness, sample homogeneity, chemical interferences, and instrumental errors (as one should in any type of screening or analysis), XRF is an excellent screening tool for identifying toxics in packaging. 

The XRF gun can be used to help ensure compliance with Toxics in Packaging Laws.  The Toxics in Packaging Clearing House (TPCH) was formed in 1992 to target toxic elements in packaging and in the waste stream. Scientific studies have shown to pose significant environmental and health hazards. In the US, there are currently 19 States with Toxics in Packaging Laws.  The TPCH indicates that by paying attention to the sample matrix, sample thickness, sample homogeneity, chemical interferences, and instrumental errors (as one should in any type of screening or analysis), XRF is an excellent screening tool for identifying toxics in packaging. 

Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and hexavalent chromium (Cr6) are the elements that have been targeted for elimination or reduction. Packaging comprises approximately one-third of the waste stream in the U.S. Effort is being put forth to keep these harmful elements out of the environment and out of landfills, where consumer product packaging inevitably ends up. The law states that companies are not permitted to intentionally introduce or incidentally introduce any of the four metals Hg, Pb, Cd or Cr6 in concentrations greater than 100 parts per million (ppm) in any package or packaging components they distribute.

  • Intentionally introduce definition: if you knowingly include any of the regulated four metals in packaging materials
  • Incidental presence definition: to include any of the four regulated metals unintentionally  or include any of these metals as undesired components in packaging materials

Who needs to comply with Toxics in Packaging Laws?

Packaging component manufacturers, packaging suppliers, product brand owners and distributors need to comply with these laws if they are operating or sending product to any of the states with toxics in packaging laws. Manufacturers and suppliers of packaging and packaging components are required to hand over a certificate of compliance to customers if they request it. This applies only to companies who actually put products in packages not the retailer or the individual consumer. The public and state can access these certificates as well. 

How can your company apply due diligence to these laws?

  • Don’t assume that suppliers have read and adhere to the packaging specifications; or that they know about restrictions on the use of heavy metals in packaging
  • Ask suppliers to provide the analytical data from their compliance claim
  • Test all packaging materials of all new suppliers before a purchase contract is issued, using the XRF

The XRF gun is an excellent solution for your toxics in packaging screening needs:

  • XRF analyzes total elements - the law is based on Total Concentration of the restricted elements
  • Portability – screen materials on site prior to issuing a contract
  • Fast and accurate screening can help you determine which packages need to be further investigated and which ones are safe
  • XRF is non-destructive, the packaging and product will not be damaged in any way
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