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Plasticizer-free paper and packaging adhesives from Henkel

Published on 2008-04-21. Author : SpecialChem

Diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), a plasticizer frequently used until now in adhesives for the paper converting industry, is suspected of being harmful to health. The German manufacturers and processors of paper, board and cardboard have therefore undertaken to stop using products containing DiBP. To protect consumers in the long term, Henkel has now come up with a solution - the Adhesin A 78 Series, a new generation of plasticizer-free adhesives formulations for all applications in the paper and packaging industry.

Many commercially available adhesives for paper, board and cardboard converting contain the plasticizer diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP). According to recent studies, the substance is toxicological suspect. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) reported in the summer of 2007 that there may be a risk to consumers from the migration of the plasticizer from board packages into the foods they contain.

Combined paper recycling is a source of DiBP

For some time now, a steady increase in DiBP levels in food packages has been observed, although the latter are produced with DiBP-free adhesives. The cause of this is the combined recycling of food packages with non-food packages and other paper products processed with adhesives containing DiBP. DiBP is thus entrained into the overall paper cycle and accumulates in the fibers of recycled paper, from which new food packages are also manufactured. Extracting DiBP from the production processes in paper mills is technically impossible.

Industry's voluntary commitment

When the possible risks from DiBP became known, the associations of the paper converting industry, led by the Association of German Paper Mills, made a voluntary commitment to the Federal Office for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to stop using DiBPcontaining products in the future. The German Adhesives Association has issued a recommendation to its members to support this voluntary commitment and, as of January 1, 2009, after a transitional period, to discontinue the sale of any adhesives containing DiBP. The authorities expect the reduction in the content of DiBP in the paper cycle to take a relatively long time. The effectiveness of the voluntary commitment is to be checked every six months on the basis of results of examinations by the official food inspection agencies.

Plasticizer-free paper adhesives formulations

By developing innovative adhesives, Henkel is accelerating the implementation of the voluntary commitment. It has now launched the Adhesin A 78 Series, a new generation of adhesives for the paper and packaging industry whose formulations contain neither DiBP nor other plasticizers. The series comprises products for all relevant applications in the paper and packaging industry and is available as of now.

Unproblematic changeover for industry

The performance of Adhesin A 78 adhesives matches that of proven products. They can be processed with ease on existing machines and even surpass conventional adhesives in terms of mileage. Henkel customers can switch over to plasticizer-free adhesives without delay and thus underscore their sense of responsibility toward consumers.

For more than 130 years, Henkel has been a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. Henkel operates in three business areas - Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesives Technologies - and ranks among the Fortune Global 500 companies. In fiscal 2007, Henkel generated sales of 13,074 million euros and operating profit of 1,344 million euros. Our 58,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to fulfilling our corporate claim, "A Brand like a Friend," and ensuring that people in more than 125 countries can trust in brands and technologies from Henkel.

Source: Henkel


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