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January 2005 Tech News

Committee on Ceramic Whitewares Approves Container Glassware Testing Standard

A new standard developed by ASTM International’s Committee C21 on Ceramic Whitewares and Related Products figures prominently in a legislative effort to reduce the amount of heavy metals in packaging and packaging components that are sold or distributed throughout the United States. The standard, C 1606, Test Method for Sampling Protocol for Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure Testing of Container Glassware, defines the way in which container glassware should be prepared before performing the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure. C 1606 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C21.03 on Methods for Whitewares and Environmental Concerns.

According to Andrew Bopp, director of public affairs, Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators, SGCD had been asked to develop a standardized methodology for grinding container glass to be tested using the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure test method by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a group of environmental officials representing 19 states that have adopted model packaging legislation originally drafted by the Source Reduction Council of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors in 1989. The standard was developed for SGCD by Ceram Research, Stoke-on-Trent, England.

“Clearinghouse member states had exempted glassware package producers from their model legislation,” says Bopp. “The exemption is based on a requirement that glass container producers demonstrate that the ware in question pass the TCLP test for cadmium and lead in order to use these metal-bearing colors.” Bopp says that, with the approval of C 1606, the exemption, which had been temporary, has now been made permanent by the Clearinghouse.

Glass and ceramic decorators that use lead- or cadmium-bearing enamels to decorate container glass will use C 1606 to prepare a sample to demonstrate that the ware passes the TCLP test. “This will demonstrate that vitrified glass containers that are decorated with metal-bearing enamels do not present a leaching hazard in a landfill environment,” says Bopp. When tested using the TCLP method, the sample must achieve a maximum result of 1.0 ppm for lead, 5.0 ppm for cadmium and 5.0 ppm for hexavalent chromium.

Bopp says that SGCD will be conducting further precision testing in the next year on both soda and perfume bottles to meet the requirements of E 691, Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method. Companies that are interested in participating should contact Bopp at SGCD.

Technical Information:
Andrew Bopp, Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators, Alexandria, Va.
Phone: 703/828-2810
ASTM staff:
Diane Rehiel
Phone: 610/832-9717
Upcoming Meeting:
Committee C21 will meet in spring 2005

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