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Screening Project for Heavy Metals in Packaging

Organization(s) Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse
Project Description In January 2008, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) began its second project to screen packaging for the presence of four heavy metals – lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium – restricted by state toxics in packaging laws. This project follows the release of a TPCH report in June 2007 that found a significant amount of retail packaging potentially in violation of state laws that prohibit the intentional use of these heavy metals in packaging and packaging components. Lead and cadmium were the most frequently detected heavy metals in the packaging samples.

The current screening project, funded by EPA Region 1-New England, uses an x-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF) to determine the concentration of the four restricted metals, similar to the first screening project. Companies selling or distributing potentially non-compliant packages will be notified and asked to submit a Certificate of Compliance demonstrating compliance with state requirements or submit an action plan to address non-compliant packages. The packaging screening results will assist the TPCH in evaluating the effectiveness of outreach efforts begun after the first screening project to remove heavy metals from the solid waste stream; and will help the TPCH identify where further outreach efforts are needed. The report will be available in the fall 2008.

There are 19 U.S. states that have toxics in packaging laws, including 7 NEWMOA member states that were designed to prevent the use of heavy metals in packaging that ultimately end up in solid waste and recycling streams. Ten states are participating in this project, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington.

More Info www.toxicsinpackaging.org/projects_publications.html
Project Contact
Name Patty Dillon
Phone 802-254-8911
Project Keywords
Activity Keywords New publication, Research and development
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 18 No. 1, Spring 2008 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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