Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

California’s Prop 65 Law Update

March 7, 2018

Steve asks,

Would you have any information in regards to changes in California’s Proposition 65 law?  These are changes in labeling and marketing requirements for products that contain ingredients known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or reproductive harm, and I’m specifically interested in any known requirements from corrugated convertors and/or harmful ingredients in corrugated.

Here is the list of Chemicals Known To The State To Cause Cancer Or Reproductive Toxicity sent to us from our customer. They also provided a list of all the products we make for them in which we must disclose any products that have chemicals that appear on the other list.

Below is a related article for your readers’ reference:

Our understanding is that as long as none of the materials used to manufacture the box (paper, starch, ink, glues, tapes or staples, etc.) have any of the chemicals that appear on the Proposition 65 list then you are okay and should not need to add any additional markings to the box.

Reach out to your suppliers and put the responsibility on them to certify the materials they provide comply with Prop 65. They would be the best source to know what is in the raw materials. You probably already request and keep on hand Safety Data Sheets from each of your suppliers. It’s always good to keep these on file and up to date just in case a question ever arises. Also in today’s legal environment, it’s important to have a paper trail to protect yourself and your company.

As far as the products contained in the box, it is up to your client to disclose their product warnings based on what they put into the box.

If any of our readers would like to share their knowledge and experience with California’s Proposition 65 Law, send us a comment. Our community is best when we all participate!

— Ralph


Is Corrugated Safe for Hospital Environments?

August 22, 2017

Gary asks,

We have a customer who is sending their product into a hospital environment inside our corrugated box. The end user, the hospital, is concerned about the absorbency of corrugated playing host to unwanted microbes and potentially transporting them into the hospital. See their message below:

“As you know we package our pulp products in corrugated cardboard boxes.  We are hearing of certain hospitals becoming concerned that cardboard boxes are unhygienic (as they are absorbent and can’t easily be kept clean) and can harbor bugs and should not be brought into clean areas of the hospital.  Do you know of materials that don’t harbor bugs and that could be used to ‘box’ these types of products?”

Our corrugated is food grade safe (CFIA approved) and we were always understanding that the corrugating process adds to the assurance that linerboard and medium do not attract or play host to microbes.

I just recently read an article from Food Safety News (Feb, 2016) that references research available through the CPA regarding the safety of corrugated. The studies performed by FBA and independent 3rd party universities, show that corrugated enters the food stream microbe free. Pathogens cannot survive the high temperatures (180 – 200 degrees F) used in the corrugated manufacturing process. If the manufacture’s process is CFIA approved then the packaging should remain clean throughout the process. I would think that the only potential lapse in protection may occur during the shipping and handling process between the brand owner and the end user, in this case the hospital.

One would think that if the brand owner is providing medical supplies they would have a cleanliness standard that would exceed even the CFIA certification. If they are delivering in their own vehicles you would think that this standard also extends to that portion of the chain of custody. Then once inside the medical facility, one would hope that cleanliness wouldn’t be an issue.

These studies also show that Reusable Plastic Cartons (RPCs) can have a higher risk of microbial organisms (up to 10 million) due to repeated use and probably inadequate or improper sanitizing before and after use.

Here is a link to the reports.

— Ralph

Corrugated Safety Data Sheets

August 19, 2016

Kim asks,

Recently a customer asked us to provide a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for corrugated sheets. Have you ever heard this request before and do you know if anyone has a standard SDS or a template for and SDS?

Yes Kim, it’s a more common request than you might think. Click here for a Corrugated Safety Data Sheet example provided by the FBA. This should help you craft your SDS.
— Ralph

Revisiting Metal Detection in Paper – updated

June 30, 2016

Mario asks –

I read your post on ASK RAPLH about detecting metal in corrugated. Did you find some solution to detect metals in the corrugated plants? We have had issues that have damaged relationships with some of our customers in the food industry.

I would appreciate your comments.

Update – Click here or scroll down

I just returned from my summer meeting with my technical peers that are members of TAPPI. This was one of the subjects we discussed.

One paper mill system with three 100% recycled fibre machines runs samples from every fourth reel, but has never detected metal from its scanners.

You will need to buy a scanner the same as your customer. You will need to calibrate it according to their sensitivity levels. Make sure you can track the order from the receiving of the sheets from sheet supplier, through your converting equipment/process and all the way to delivery of the finished product to your customers. Once you find the source of the metal and your sheet supplier. Once you identify the source of the metal contamination, then you can address the issue.

If you haven’t read the comments from Bill and Clayton regarding detecting metal please click on this link and scroll down the page. Both gentlemen offer some very good insight based on in-plant experience.

Check with your customer to see what kind of detection system they are using and if the same or similar system may be available to meet your needs.

Dick Lund – RC Lund Consulting.

Metal in paper is usually from virgin paper mills – sloughing off of metal in the machines or poorer fiber cleaning than is used in recycled mills.  Recycled mills are specifically designed to remove metal and other contaminents, virgin – not as well equipped.  Further, testing boxes on line in a box plant may be possible but it is very expense and difficult to execute.  Better to get metal free paper!