SAFEGUARDS | Consumer ProductsNO. 056/22
In April 2022, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 4531:2022 for testing food contact enameled articles. This second edition contains several changes when compared to the 2018 edition. It:
- Strengthens the migration limit for aluminum five-fold (see Table 1 below). This new limit is derived from Regulation (EU) 2016/1416 amending and correcting Regulation (EU) 10/2011 on food contact plastics
- Requires the three consecutive release tests to be carried on the same day using the same sample and a fresh test solution per test
- Stipulates test reports to include any relevant information to uncertainty of measurement and any deviations from the procedure
Highlights of the new standard for 16 heavy metals and their migration limits are summarized in Table 1.
ISO 4531:2022 ‘Vitreous and porcelain enamels – Release from enameled articles in contact with food – Methods of test and limits’, Second Edition, April 2022
In 2018, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BFR) published Opinion No. 24/2018 for the migration of heavy metals from enameled grill grates. According to the findings, significant quantities of aluminum, antimony, arsenic and nickel were found to be released from certain enameled grill grates. In the absence of a legally binding set of migration limits for heavy metals for these food contact materials and articles, some of the released concentrations were found to exceed quantities derived from acceptable exposure levels without compromising health. The Opinion also recommended consumer exposure levels for some heavy metals from these products.
According to Opinion No.24/2018, grills manufactured with steel or cast iron are often coated with enamel materials to protect against corrosion and to facilitate cleaning. Enamel materials are known to contain a variety of silicates and oxides derived from metals, including aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium and nickel.
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