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USA: Guidance for TPCH 2021 model legislation for PFAS and Ortho-phthalates is ready

NOVEMBER 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) has issued guidance on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and ortho-phthalates in packaging1 at the beginning of November 2023. The guidance provides suggested testing methods for both groups of chemicals, a list of commonly analysed ortho-phthalates and some recommendations on compliance with the TPCH model toxics in packaging legislation (model legislation). 

Back in 2021, the model legislation included PFAS and ortho-phthalates2 as regulated chemicals. The laws prohibit the intentional use of these chemicals in packaging and place the burden of compliance on the supply chain. It is up to each state to adopt changes to their existing laws or adopt a new law to address toxics in packaging. Several states have recently enacted laws that address PFAS in food packaging. 

The guidance document suggests a few analytical methods (e.g. total fluorine) for PFAS. If the results of total fluorine are less than 100 ppm and quality control criterias are met, the product likely doesn’t have intentionally added PFAS and would likely comply with the state’s restrictions in packaging. Further confirmation with suppliers is suggested if low levels of total fluorine (i.e. less than 100 ppm) are detected. Moreover, the guidance emphasises that transparency is of utmost importance for compliance. Three options are recommended to determine if PFAS is intentionally added to the packaging material:

1) Ask suppliers for full material disclosure;

2) Ask suppliers to disclose if PFAS chemicals are added;

3) Look for third-party certification of your materials.

With regards to the testing method of ortho-phthalates, TPCH suggested using SW 846 Method 8270 for several sample preparations and EPA Methods Method 3541 (automated Soxhlet/Soxtherm extraction) for packaging materials. Here is the list of ortho-phthalates that are commonly analysed by the above test method: 

  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (CAS No.117-81-7) (DEHP)
  • Butyl benzyl phthalate (CAS No. 85-68-7) (BBP)
  • Dicyclohexyl phthalate (CAS No. 84-61-7) (DCHP)
  • Diethyl phthalate (CAS no. 84-66-2) (DEP)
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (CAS no. 84-69-5) (DIBP)
  • Diisodecyl phthalate (CAS no. 26761-40-0) (DIDP)
  • Diisononyl phthalate (CAS no. 28553-12-0) (DINP)
  • Dimethyl phthalate (CAS no. 131-11-3) (DMP)
  • Di-n-butyl phthalate (CAS no. 84-74-2) (DBP)
  • Di-n-hexyl phthalate (CAS no. 84-75-3) (DnHP)
  • Di-n-octyl phthalate (CAS no. 117-84-0) (DnOP)
  • Dipentyl phthalate (CAS no. 131-18-0) (DIDP)

 

[1] PFAS and Ortho-phthalates in Packaging Guidance document from TPCH

 

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