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QCA Negotiates with Ink Manufacturers for Compliance Testing

May 11, 2012

The QCA Ink Testing Initiative worked with seven ink suppliers to conduct more than 850 individual tests measuring lead, cadmium, soluble heavy metals and phthalate content, with results available exclusively through QCA Accredited Suppliers.

Promotional products wouldn't be promotional products without decoration, and oftentimes this embellishment includes ink. And while most ink manufacturers tested inks prior to releasing them on the market as part of a development protocol, most of this testing was performed years ago when different standards applied and protocols were different. Because the regulatory environment has changed significantly in the last couple years, as evidenced by the implementation of CPSIA and California Prop. 65 among others, not only is retesting imperative, but it's required to comply with today's regulations.

The Chicago-based Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry's only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has negotiated with ink suppliers Marabu and Ink Cups Now (ICN) to test their entire lines used for promotional products manufacturing. Additionally, five other suppliers' inks that are frequently used by manufacturers of promotional products were tested.

In total, the QCA Ink Testing Initiative conducted more than 850 individual tests measuring lead, cadmium, soluble heavy metals and phthalate content. These third-party laboratory testing results are available exclusively through QCA-Affiliated suppliers.

Testing of the inks used in the decoration of promotional products is essential for being in compliance with CPSIA guidelines, including the Final Rule on Component Parts Testing and other regulatory standards. "Once we began working with the ink suppliers on the QCA Ink Testing Initiative, something remarkable happened. Two of the leading manufacturers supplying inks for promotional products found the proposal so compelling that they tested far deeper into their lines and, in one case, the entire line," said D E Fenton, QCA executive director - compliance for QCA. "This is significant because it shows how important delivering safe and compliant product has become throughout the entire supply chain."

Clif Treco, North American sales manager for Marabu, said, "The QCA Ink Testing Initiative represents a move forward in the market for safer and compliant products. While the testing was initially targeted for the promotional products industry, the results have a much bigger impact because our inks are also used by numerous consumer companies that sell at the retail level. Whether in a B2B or B2C situation, we want our clients as well as their customers throughout the supply chain to rest easy because they know our inks are safe and compliant."



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