Ceramic Control Requirements Worldwide Broadcast
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Ceramic products, as traditional materials for food contact, are ubiquitous in the daily lives of people worldwide. Items such as bowls, cups, soup pots, tea sets, knives, ladles, plates, and dishes are commonly made of ceramic materials. Ceramics are generally perceived by the public as safe, non-toxic, and healthy materials for daily life. They come in diverse shapes, with smooth and delicate surfaces, vibrant colors, and are easy to clean, making them highly favored by many. However, ceramic products still pose safety risks, primarily stemming from the glazing process. Glazes often contain sodium silicate and metal salts, and coloring pigments may also include metal salts, leading to the potential leaching of heavy metals. Therefore, countries worldwide have established clear regulatory requirements for ceramic products.

China

China's control requirements for ceramic products are based on GB 4806.4-2016. The standard classifies ceramic products into six categories, each with different lead and cadmium leaching conditions and limits based on their use:

  • Cookware: 4% acetic acid, 98°C, 120 minutes;
  • Microwave-safe products: 4% acetic acid, 100°C, 15 minutes; and
  • Other room temperature conditions: 4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours.

Ceramic Category

Flat Products

(Depth ≤ 25mm)

Storage Jars

(Volume ≥ 3L)

Large Hollow Products

(1.1L ≤ Volume < 3L)

Small Hollow Products

(Volume < 1.1L)

Cups

Cookware

Limit Values

Pb: 0.8mg/dm2, Cd: 0.07mg/dm2

Pb: 0.5mg/L, Cd: 0.25mg/L

Pb: 1.0mg/L, Cd: 0.25mg/L

Pb: 2.0mg/L, Cd: 0.30mg/L

Pb: 0.5mg/L, Cd: 0.25mg/L

Pb: 3.0mg/L, Cd: 0.30mg/L

Migration Conditions

4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours

4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours

4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours

4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours

4% acetic acid, 22°C, 24 hours

4% acetic acid, 98°C, 120 minutes

European Union

All ceramic products placed on the EU market must comply with EU Ceramic Directive 84/500/EEC and its amended directive 2005/31/EC.

Category

Pb

Cd

Non-fillable products, and fillable products with an internal depth (distance from the lowest point to the upper edge horizontal plane) ≤ 25mm

0.8 mg/dm2

0.07 mg/dm2

All other fillable products

0.4mg/L

0.3 mg/L

Cookware, packaging, and storage containers with a volume exceeding 3L

1.5 mg/L

0.1 mg/L

If the individual test sample data does not exceed the listed limits, it is considered to meet the standard requirements. Additionally, if the individual test sample data exceeds the listed limits but not by more than 50%, an additional three parallel samples are required. The average of the four test sample data must not exceed the limits, and no single sample result should exceed 50% of the limits, for it to be considered compliant with the standards.

Germany

All ceramic and glass products placed on the German market must comply with the DIN 51032:2017 standard.

Category

Pb

Cd

Non-fillable products, and fillable products with an internal depth (distance from the lowest point to the upper edge horizontal plane) ≤ 25mm

0.8 mg/dm2

0.07 mg/dm2

All other fillable products

0.4mg/L

0.3 mg/L

Cookware, packaging, and storage containers with a volume exceeding 3L

1.5 mg/L

0.1 mg/L

Note: For decorated areas within 2cm from the cup edge, additional testing for lead and cadmium leaching is required, with limit requirements of Pb: 2.0 mg/article and Cd: 0.20 mg/article.

France

France's control project for ceramics involves testing for the leaching of lead, cadmium, aluminum, cobalt, and arsenic, with stricter control over the types of elements compared to other countries.

Ceramic

Element

Flat Products (mg/dm2)

Fillable Products (mg/L)

Cookware, containers with a volume greater than 3L (mg/L)*

Edge Requirements (mg/item)

Lead (Pb)

0.8

4.0

1.5

2.0

Cadmium (Cd)

0.07

0.3

0.1

0.2

Aluminum (Al)

1mg/kg

Cobalt (Co)

0.02mg/kg

Arsenic (As)

0.002mg/kg

*Includes cups, bowls, and plates suitable for microwave use.

Italy

Glass products exported to Italy must meet the requirements of Ministerial Decree of 21/03/1973. Testing is required to confirm the glass category and usage, including three types:

  • High borosilicate glass & soda lime glass: for use at temperatures >80°C;
  • Soda lime glass: for use at temperatures ≤80°C; and
  • Lead-containing glass: for short-term repetitive use.

Among them, all three types of glass products (A, B, C) require testing for overall migration. For Class C, lead-containing glass (crystal glass), additional testing for specific lead migration is also required.

Testing Item

Testing Method

Standard Limit

Overall migration

EN 1186-3:2022

8mg/dm2; 50mg/kg (for volumes between 500mL and 10L, can be filled but contact area cannot be determined, lids, gaskets, stoppers, or similar sealing devices.)

Specific migration (Pb)

Decree of 21/03/1973

0.3ppm

The United States

The control requirement for ceramics in the United States is the release of lead and cadmium, corresponding to FDA CPG Sec.545.450/7117.07 and FDA CPG Sec.545.400/7007.06.

Product Category

Evaluation Requirement

Limit Requirement (μg/mL)

Flat Products (Internal depth ≤ 25mm from the lowest point to the upper edge horizontal plane)   

6 averages

Pb: 3.0, Cd: 0.5

Hollowware products with a volume of ≤1.1L, excluding cups, mugs, and cans.

Any 6

Pb: 2.0, Cd: 0.5

Cups and mugs

Any 6

Pb: 0.5, Cd: 0.5

Hollowware products with a volume of ≥1.1L, excluding cans

Any 6

Pb: 1.0, Cd: 0.25

Cans

Any 6

Pb: 0.5, Cd: 0.25

Canada

In February 2021, Health Canada issued the latest 'Guidance for the Food Contact Glazed Ceramics and Glassware Products Industry.' This guidance is subject to the constraints of the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and the Glazed Ceramics and Glassware Regulations (GCGR, SOR/2016-175).

Migration Limits for Lead and Cadmium in Different Types of Glazed Ceramics and Glassware Products:

 

Product Type

Lead Migration Limit (mg/L)

Cadmium Migration Limit (mg/L)

Tableware

3.0

0.50

Small Hollowware, excluding cups or mugs (<1.1L)

2.0

0.50

Large Hollowware, excluding water jugs (≥1.1L)

1.0

0.25

Cups or Mugs

0.5

0.50

Water Jugs

0.5

0.25

Note: Drinking vessels with a distinctive exterior decorative pattern within 20 mm of the rim have limit requirements of Pb: 4 mg/L and Cd: 0.4 mg/L.

CIRS C&K Testing advises ceramic product enterprises to be attentive to the requirements of various countries. It is crucial to proactively verify compliance before entering the market to ensure adherence to regulations and mitigate risks. CIRS C&K Testing offers a comprehensive suite of technical testing capabilities to meet the ceramic regulations of different countries. If you have any specific needs, please feel free to contact us at test@cirs-group.com.