Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 03-04-2022 Origin: Site
Industry trade alliance GPMA is communicating with the government that the use of chemicals newly classified as Class B in the printing industry is "grossly underestimated" and that inkjet inks affected by the reclassification should be exempt.
Recently, the U.K. government introduced new regulations to limit the abuse of drugs, intended to strengthen the control of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) initiatives. The news has attracted a lot of attention in the industry.
The GPMA (Graphics and Print Media Alliance) is made up of a large number of trade associations representing companies operating in the supply chain of the graphics and print media industry. Members include the British Printing Industries Federation BPIF, whose current chairman is Charles Jarrold, its chief executive, and manufacturers' association Picon, which acts as the secretariat. Other participating organisations include the British Coatings Federation, which has provided early warning of the impact of the legislative changes.
The letter to Kit Malthouse, Minister of State for the Home Office, and Lee Rowley, BEIS Parliamentary Under Secretary, was also supported by IPIA and BAPC, the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), the Bosses Federation, the Flexographic Industry Association, PPMA and Two Sides.
The GPMA explained the inadvertent impact of the reclassification of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) as Class B drugs, subjecting them to a strict licensing regime. Underestimated".
It is understood that the government initially believed that fewer than 70 companies would be affected. But the GPMA said the number of users and importance to the industry should be properly determined through public consultation with stakeholders, and described the impact of the new restrictions as a "disproportionate impact.
"This is primarily because more than 4,000 businesses use these affected inks for their daily print production. The value of this particular type of print is estimated at £1 billion per year," the GPMA's letter said.
"This ink also has a wider use in printing equipment in schools, colleges, universities, local councils, construction site offices, fashion stores and government offices."
When BCF wrote to the Home Office in early February, it cited figures estimating more than 7,500 potentially affected businesses, including users outside the printing industry. But with the additional information gathered,, BCF believes the true number could reach five figures.
The GPMA also noted that the cost and formulation of inks does not make them a viable avenue for pharmaceutical production, and described distillation for illicit use as "uneconomical and impractical.
"For example; 50 liters of cleaning solution containing GBL is the main raw material for pharmaceutical production and costs on average about £250 to £500. The same amount of affected ink would cost an average of £5,000."
The coalition said the new regulatory controls, which will come into force on June 15, will also "create further disadvantages for UK businesses post-Brexit". But exemptions from licensing requirements for users of complex mixtures, such as printing inks, are not yet in place.
"It is understood that in the US such an exemption from the regulatory requirements of the Controlled Substances Act exists for chemical mixtures of less than 70% GBL by weight or volume. Therefore, the imposition of licensing requirements on users of mixtures is disproportionate to the risk posed," the GPMA letter states.
GPMA also proposes a number of mitigation measures, including delaying the introduction of new controls, transitional arrangements to allow manufacturers and suppliers to comply with licensing requirements, and allowing end users such as printing companies to be exempted and included in registration programs rather than licensing.
Industry manufacturers and suppliers are closely monitoring the situation. GBL is used as a stabilizer for solvent and weak solvent inkjet printer inks and is used in Epson printhead printer inks from Epson, Mikoto, Muto and Roland, and the substance may also be used in other ink types, which may include inks developed for high-speed web inkjet presses. Previously, there were also news reports about this, and Epson said it was "deeply concerned" about the chain reaction.