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Violations of Toxics in Packaging Laws at Discount Chains

January 8, 2013

A new study conducted by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) found that 39% of plastic packaging of consumer products violates toxics in packaging laws. The purpose of the study was to assess compliance with state toxics in packaging laws. The investigation targeted imported polyvinylchloride (PVC) packaging from dollar/discount retail chain stores.

Flexible PVC packaging samples obtained from stores in seven member states were screened using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology. Twenty-four of the 61 samples analyzed failed the screening test for cadmium, and one sample also failed the screening test for lead. The samples which failed were used to package a variety of products, including children's products, pet supplies, personal care, household items, home furnishings, hardware and apparel.

Member states used the results of the screening to undertake coordinated state action in which brand owners, manufacturers, distributors and/or retailers were notified of the failed packaging samples.

Nineteen states have toxics in packaging laws which prohibit the intentional use of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium in packaging or individual packaging components and which limit their unintentional presence to a combined total concentration of less than 100 parts per million.