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Why the Difference Between Lead Allowed in Candy and Lead Allowed by CONEG Model Legislation?

December 18, 2007
Question 

The FDA in November 2006 published a guidance document "Lead in Candy Likely to be Consumed by Small Children: Recommended Maximum Level and Enforcement Policy". This proposes that 0.1 ppm be the maximum level for candy and related food items. How does this correlate with the 100 ppm maximum level that CONEG (TPCH) model legislation states?

 

Answer 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance document concerning lead in candy likely to be consumed by small children (click here for a copy) explains that the reason it established 0.1 ppm as the maximum level in candy likely to be consumed by small children is, "This level is achievable under good manufacturing practices and would not pose a significant risk to small children for adverse effects." The translates to 6.1 ppm lead in the package, if it is assumed that all lead present in the package migrates from the first 10 millimeter thickness of the packaging and 1 sq. in. of packaging contacts 10 grams of food. In any case, FDA expects manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food and related material supply to the lowest level that can be practicably achieved.

The Coalition of Northeastern Governors' (CONEG) model legislation is designed to reduce the levels of four heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium) entering the municipal solid waste stream by reducing the levels of the metals in packaging. This is accomplished through banning the addition of heavy metals to packaging materials, and imposing a 100 ppm limit on the incidental level of the metals in the packaging. It is important to note the CONEG prohibition against "intentional use." The intentional addition of one of the heavy metals—in whatever quantity—does not comply with the statute.