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Regulatory Requirements for Fluorescent Pigments

Regulatory bodies – Regional, National, State and even local authorities, have long recognized their role in protecting consumers from products that could cause harm. How a product is used - its application - governs much of how it is regulated. A fluorescent coating, for example, may be perfectly safe for its intended use of protecting an industrial part from corrosion, but may not be safe for a child’s toy or food packaging.

Of course a product’s makeup and manufacturing process factor into its regulation as well. For example, material like formaldehyde, which has long been used as a key component in fluorescent pigments to facilitate dye solubility, pigment brightness and solvent resistance, raises concerns due to carcinogenic effects.

A partial list of regulations that impact the fluorescent pigment industry:

RoHS – Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, adopted by the European Union in 2003, took effect in 2006. It restricts the use of 10 hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment.

Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation prohibits the intentional use of four potentially-harmful metals in packaging. Written to be adopted by individual states, as of 2021 it is the basis for laws in 19 U.S. states and the European Union.

European Union Toy Safety Directive EN 71-3:2019, details standards for limiting the migration of certain toxic substances in toys. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) updated the standards in 2019 and amended them in 2021. In the context of fluorescent pigments, controls like EN 71-3 help keep children safe while clarifying what requirements manufacturers like Brilliant Group need to comply with so bright, fluorescent products are still possible.

REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals is a broad regulation adopted by the European Union in 2006. Applying to companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances into the EU in quantities of one tonne or more, the legislation established the European Chemicals Agency to implement and enforce the rules. Compliance is mandatory – selling chemical substances of any kind that are not registered is considered illegal. REACH is driving supply chain accountability for manufacturers like Brilliant Group, as well as our distributors.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) enhances safety by offering standardized pictograms to warn people of risks posed by the substances they may encounter. One set of pictograms is required for labeling containers and workplace hazards. A second set illustrates dangers present during the transportation of hazardous goods.

At a state level, California’s Prop 65 has helped to make consumers aware of potential hazards in products across all areas of their lives.

In order to satisfy cornerstone regulations like these, companies up and down the supply chain are adapting their products and engaging more closely with their suppliers. Global textile brands, for example, are leading the way in limiting the levels of formaldehyde in clothing and shoes in compliance with Oeko-Tex regulations.

At Brilliant Group, we have taken up the challenge to research raw materials and their characteristics in order to create innovative products that comply with regulations and deliver the vibrant, long-lasting fluorescent colors that product developers want. For example, we now offer a broad range of formaldehyde-free pigments, colorants and soluble toners to address applications where formaldehyde is of concern.

We continue to see opportunity in light of regulations that govern the manufacture and use of fluorescent pigments. If you have any questions about how the above rules, or others that govern fluorescent pigment use, apply to your potential use, please contact us below for a conversation.

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