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Are There Regulations Concerning Blinking Lights on Packaging?

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Are There Regulations Concerning Blinking Lights on Packaging?


Are there any regulations pertaining to adding a blinking light, mostly to call attention to a feature of the product, in a package?



There are no regulations at the state or federal level that address blinking lights in packaging, per se. However, the CONEG model legislation designed to reduce the levels in packaging and packaging waste of certain heavy metals may apply. CONEG is a coalition of mostly New England states that developed model legislation to reduce the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium in packaging with the idea that, as a result, the levels of these metals in municipal solid waste streams would be curtailed.

The model legislation has been adopted in 19 states with some slight variations. It bans the sale of packaging that contains any of the specified heavy metals if, during manufacture or distribution, the metals are intentionally added to the package itself or added to any packaging component. Incidental combined levels of the four metals cannot exceed 100 parts per million (ppm) in the package. For more background on CONEG, the model legislation, and its implementation by the states, please click here.

The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) administers and coordinates implementation of the model legislation in the various states. Some states that are members of TPCH have instituted a compliance program in which packaging on the market will be tested to determine its compliance with the CONEG legislation adopted by the states. The testing is conducted at retail outlets on targeted products based on prior knowledge of possible non-compliance, or on products selected at random.

With regard specifically to packages with blinking lights, a couple of years ago, the State of Connecticut issued a Notice of Violation to a dietary supplement company that had been marketing its product in such a package. Following the Notice, the company agreed to voluntarily remove 100,000 packages off the shelf and repackage another 50,0000 units prior to distribution in commerce. Connecticut, in publicizing the enforcement action, pointed out that violations could result in penalties of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

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