9 Jul 2019

Low-PAH carbon blacks for regulated applications

Legislative bodies are now calling for lower levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in consumer articles. In order to satisfy these requirements, Birla Carbon has developed a range of certified low-PAH carbon blacks that are suitable for both food contact and use in consumer articles.

Carefree fun: Birla Carbon carbon blacks pose no risk to health.

As PAHs are potentially carcinogenic, a number of countries have issued legislation to restrict the PAH content of items that are designed to come into contact with food. In addition, Germany’s consumer safety organization (Amt für Produktsicherheit, or AfPS) has also introduced restrictions on the PAH content of end products.


Birla Carbon and PAH

In many plastic and rubber formulations, carbon black is a key ingredient, but is also known to contain traces levels of PAHs. The amount of PAHs, however, is well below the 0.1% limit set by EU 67/548/EWG. In addition, research has shown that any PAHs present are not bioavailable. Birla Carbon has introduced a range of low-PAH carbon blacks designed for rubber applications:

Low-PAH grades for consumer articles
This family of carbon blacks is certified to have less than 1 ppm of the listed PAHs (when measured using ASTM D7771) and is therefore suitable for EU 1273/2013 Category A&B as well as AfPS GS2014 Category 2&3 applications. These materials are exact equivalents to ASTM grades, so reformulation is not necessary.

Low-benzo(a)pyrene grades for food contact applications
BIRLA CARBON™ 3035 is a clean type of N550 for generalpurpose extrusion and molding. It is certified to have less than 250ppb BaP, as measured by D7771. RAVEN® P, a clean N200-series product, is also certified to have less than 250 ppb BaP. Both grades are suitable for food contact applications, as per both EU 10/2011 and the Chinese GB 9685-2016. For FDA applications, Birla Carbon’s RAVEN® FC1 complies with FDA regulations for total PAH content as well as BaP content.

What are PAHs?

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are compounds formed from fused aromatic rings – the simplest ring being benzene. These compounds are known carcinogens that are created whenever an organic material is partially combusted. Common sources of PAHs include gas heaters, vehicles and even barbecue grills. The compound most commonly referred to is benzo(alpha)pyrene (BaP), as it is easily identified and acts as a marker for other PAH compounds that may be present.