Model Legislation
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Which Metals?

Four specific heavy metals are targeted for elimination or reduction: mercury, lead, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium. Scientific studies have shown that these metals pose significant environmental and health hazards as toxic constituents of incinerator ash and stack emissions or landfill leachate.   According to the legislation, companies are not permitted to sell or distribute any package or packaging component to which any of the four metals has been intentionally introduced. (Packaging components may include coatings, inks and labels.) Companies are given two years after the enactment of the legislation to clear inventories and reformulate their packaging. The law further requires that the incidental presence of the metals be gradually reduced to 100 parts per million four years after it has been enacted. Incidental presence is defined as the presence of one of the four regulated metals as an unintended or undesired component of the final package.  For a detailed description of the four metals, including their health effects, visit the sites listed below at the website of the Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry: 


Hexavalent Chromium