PROJECTS & PUBLICATIONS
XRF Screening of Packaging Components: Cadmium Continues to be Present in Flexible Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) (November 2017)
This research bulletin provides an update on projects performed by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) related to the presence of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) found in flexible PVC packaging above legal thresholds established by state toxics in packaging laws. The bulletin summarizes the results of x-ray fluorescent (XRF) analysis of flexible PVC packaging samples in 2015 to assess current compliance with state toxics in packaging laws. The Bulletin also assesses trends in compliance with state laws using XRF data collected since 2006.
Glass Matrix Test Methods Evaluation For Toxics In Packaging (February 2014)
This report, funded by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, evaluates test methods for determining the total concentration of regulated metals in glass matrix packaging components, and provides recommendations for testing glass containers for compliance with state toxics in packaging laws. TPCH sent glass samples containing known concentrations of lead to nine commercial laboratories in the U.S. and one laboratory in Europe for testing. The results indicated that U.S Environmental Protection Agency SW-846 Method 3052, Microwave Assisted Acid Digestion of Siliceous and Organically Based Matrices, and comparable sample preparation methods using hydrofluoric acid (HF) for silica-based materials like glass were effective in determining total lead content. Methods using HF without the application of an external heat source such as microwave, oven bomb or hot plate did not perform as well. EPA Method 3050B, which is a sample preparation method intended to measure ‘total recoverable metals’ or leachable metals is inadequate in determining compliance with state toxics in packaging laws. Along with the report, TPCH released a guidance document to assist regulated entities and laboratories in compliance with state toxics in packaging statutes.
- Download full report
- Guidance on analysis of glass samples
- News release
- TPCH responses to comments from the Glass Packaging Institute
XRF Screening of Packaging Components: Inks & Colorants (December 2012)
This project screened over 130 single-use shopping and mail order bags for the presence of lead and cadmium in inks and colorants. While only three packaging samples failed the XRF screening, the concentration of lead in these shopping bags was significant at approximately 10,000 ppm or 1 percent by weight. The failing samples were all vibrant, solid-colored plastic bags, two yellow and one red. Overall, the TPCH member states were pleased with the high level of compliance with state toxics in packaging laws.
An Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging: A Focus on Flexible PVC from Discount Retail Chain Stores (June 2012)
This report documents the continued investigation by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse of heavy metals in packaging, using x-ray
fluorescence (XRF) analysis. The goals of this project were to assess compliance with state toxics in packaging laws by “dollar” and discount retail chain stores; and to identify non-compliant packaging for coordinated action by member states. This project targeted imported flexible polyvinylchloride (PVC) packaging, since two previous TPCH studies showed a propensity for these inexpensive, imported materials to contain restricted metals.
Laboratory Round Robin Test Project: Assessing Performance in Measuring Toxics in Packaging (July 2011)
This report summarizes the performance of laboratories in determining compliance with the 100 ppm limit of toxics in packaging requirements. Based on the findings, the report presents recommendations for regulated entities (such as packaging suppliers, manufacturers and distributors of packaged products) and test laboratories to ensure that testing measured total concentration of restricted metals in the sample.
WA & IA Reusable Bag Testing (June 2011)
TPCH member states Washington and Iowa tested 31 reusable bags and found most complied with state toxics in packaging laws.
Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging: 2009 Update
This report documents the continued investigation by TPCH of heavy metals in packaging, using XRF analysis. TPCH screened 409 packages to detect trends in compliance with state toxics in packaging laws, and to notify brand owners of potentially non-compliant packages. This project was funded in part by the U.S. EPA New England.
Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging (June 2017)
The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse screened 355 packages for the presence of four restricted metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium) between October 2005 and February 2006 using a portable x-ray fluorescence analyzer. The results of this EPA-funded project were released in June 2007.
Model Legislation Evaluation Reports (1998 and 1994)
The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse and member states periodically review the effectiveness of the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation and state laws based on the Model. The first such review, Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation: An Evaluation of its Provisions, Administration, and Impact, was published in 1994, and the second review was published in 1998.