On August 2, 2017, the EU Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials (EURL-FCM) of the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a report on the determination of selected metals in acetic acid solutions as well as migration of certain elements from ceramic and glass tableware. The EURL-FCM had organized an interlaboratory comparison exercise in 2016 to (i) check the participating laboratories’ analytical ability to quantify copper (Cu), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and antimony (Sb) in a solution of acetic acid 3%, as well as barium (Ba), cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and aluminum (Al) in a solution of acetic acid 4%; (ii) test the laboratories’ performance in carrying out a migration test on decorated ceramic and glass articles; and (iii) determine precision criteria, including repeatability and reproducibility, for the release of elements from tableware.
53 participants from 27 countries registered for the exercise, among them 29 national reference laboratories (NRLs) and 24 official control laboratories (OCLs). “The rate of success was almost always higher than 80% for all elements in all samples,” and “no difference between the performance of NRLs and OCLs was observed,” the report reads. However, the exercise identified the need for “improvement in estimation of the measurement uncertainties.” Overall, the performance of the NRLs and OCLs was deemed satisfactory. The exercise helped “evaluate the enforceability of measures under discussion for the future revision(s) of ceramics Directive 84/500/EEC and the implementation of provisions laid down in the Commission Regulation 10/2011 for plastics,” the report notes.
EURL-FCM (August 2, 2017). “Report on the inter-laboratory comparison exercise organized by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials: Determination of elements in acetic acid solutions and in migration from ceramic and glass tableware.”
Jakubowska N. et al. (2017). “Report on the inter-laboratory comparison exercise organized by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials – Determination of elements in acetic acid solutions and in migration from ceramic and glass tableware.” JRC Technical Reports EUR 28690 EN (pdf)