The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) launched a new study that will test inks and colorants in single-use shopping and mail order bags for the presence of lead and cadmium. The use of these toxic metals is restricted by toxics in packaging laws in nineteen U.S. states.
This study is a follow up to two previous projects by the TPCH that identified inks and colorants as a potential source of lead and cadmium in packaging. TPCH is collecting retail packaging samples through the end of the year. In January, the packaging samples will be screened using an x-ray fluorescent (XRF) instrument that allows for the inexpensive and rapid detection of elemental composition. Samples that screen positive for the restricted metals will be sent to laboratories for confirmatory testing.
As with past projects, TPCH member states may use the test results to pursue enforcement of their state laws. Penalties for non-compliance with state laws vary. In New York, for example, the penalties for violations of the Hazardous Packaging Act are up to $10,000 for the first violation and up to $25,000 per violation for each violation thereafter. Each package on the shelf constitutes a separate and distinct violation. Similarly, in Connecticut and Iowa, a violation could result in a penalty of $10,000 per day per violation.
Source: Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse