04/18/2008, Düsseldorf / Germany
Setting a clear signal to match the voluntary commitment of the paper converting industry
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Plasticizer-free paper and packaging adhesives from Henkel
Many commercially available adhesives for paper, board and cardboard converting contain the plasticizer diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP). According to recent studies, the substance is toxicological suspect. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) reported in the summer of 2007 that there may be a risk to consumers from the migration of the plasticizer from board packages into the foods they contain.
Combined paper recycling is a source of DiBP
For some time now, a steady increase in DiBP levels in food packages has been observed, although the latter are produced with DiBP-free adhesives. The cause of this is the combined recycling of food packages with non-food packages and other paper products processed with adhesives containing DiBP. DiBP is thus entrained into the overall paper cycle and accumulates in the fibers of recycled paper, from which new food packages are also manufactured. Extracting DiBP from the production processes in paper mills is technically impossible.
Industry's voluntary commitment
When the possible risks from DiBP became known, the associations of the paper converting industry, led by the Association of German Paper Mills, made a voluntary commitment to the Federal Office for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to stop using DiBP-containing products in the future. The German Adhesives Association has issued a recommendation to its members to support this voluntary commitment and, as of January 1, 2009, after a transitional period, to discontinue the sale of any adhesives containing DiBP. The authorities expect the reduction in the content of DiBP in the paper cycle to take a relatively long time. The effectiveness of the voluntary commitment is to be checked every six months on the basis of results of examinations by the official food inspection agencies.
Plasticizer-free paper adhesives formulations
By developing innovative adhesives, Henkel is accelerating the implementation of the voluntary commitment. It has now launched the Adhesin A 78 Series, a new generation of adhesives for the paper and packaging industry whose formulations contain neither DiBP nor other plasticizers. The series comprises products for all relevant applications in the paper and packaging industry and is available as of now.
Unproblematic changeover for industry
The performance of Adhesin A 78 adhesives matches that of proven products. They can be processed with ease on existing machines and even surpass conventional adhesives in terms of mileage. Henkel customers can switch over to plasticizer-free adhesives without delay and thus underscore their sense of responsibility toward consumers.
Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
Head of Corporate Communications
Ernst Primosch, Corporate Vice President