The Belgian Packaging Institute - BPI - is promoting the rational use of packaging. It functions at the service of the authorities and the industry in the field of legislation, information and education.
The Lab with official accreditation (ISO 17025 ) delivers tests following standardised methods and procedures as well on materials as on packaging used in various sectors. In each department - dangerous goods, IBC's, child safe packaging, food contact, material analyses and transport and climate simulations – specialists are at your service.
T&C Packaging International, Part of the IBE-BVI Group
When he found that intensive communication with the general public failed to lower the incidence of childrens’ poisonings, Dr. Breault focused on prevention and protection by encouraging the development of a first child-proof container. In 1957 Dr. Breault became Chief of Pediatrics and Director of a new Poison Control Centre at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor, where he daily faced cases of children poisoned by medicines or hazardous consumer products, e.g. household chemicals. There were some 1000 cases and at least 1 death each year from such poisonings, but no one had tried to do something about the worsening situation.
Dr. Breault founded the Ontario Association for the Control of Accidental Poisoning and forged an alliance between local physicians and pharmacists to design child resistant containers. A first succesful system, known as the Palm N Turn, was developed and adopted in the Windsor area in 1967. The Ontario Government made child resistant containers mandatory by 1974.
In its World Report on Child Injury Prevention [WHO 2008] the World Health Organization said that "Child resistant packaging is one of the best documented successes in preventing the unintentional poisoning of children". There may be no such thing as "child-proof", but child-resistant packaging can make a big difference to product safety. Child resistant closures are designed to increase the time it takes for a younger child to access the medication or chemical. They help to significantly reduce the chances of a child accessing the contents of the container. Two types of child resistant closures are distinguished; child resistant closures include both the recloseable and the non recloseable packagings. Not every recloseable packaging is child resistant, however. One distinguishes ordinary reclosable caps such as the ones for soft drink bottles and child resistant caps, such as the Palm N Turn. Non recloseable closures are packages like aluminum foil (strip packaging) or opaque/clear laminated plastic (blister packaging) generally containing a single tablet, such as a medicine or dishwasher tablet.
Drugs, detergents, acid, lye, fuel or gardening products are ordinary household products; they can seriously damage our childrens’health, however. And even if most of these products are not highly toxic, they must be kept out of the reach of children. When infants are in contact with these chemicals, this can have disastrous consequences for both the children and their parents.
Child resistant packagings have been developed to ensure that children do not come into contact with their poisonous contents. They will not be 100 per cent safe, however, since adults should still be able to open the packages easily and quickly. The purpose of child safety is not to release parents and other adults from their responsibility for small children! On the contrary, child safety represents the last means of security on which parents can rely, when all other precautionary measures have failed. As a final safeguard, innovative and well designed child resistant packaging has undoubtedly saved many young lives, and will certainly continue to do so.
Any child resistant packaging worth its salt must be as easy for the grandparents to open as it is difficult for their grandchild. Although preventing access by young children is the primary concern, it's all for nothing if elderly users, who represent the primary market for many pharmaceutical products, have similar difficulties. Although this has been a major dichotomy for decades, new research suggests that changing demographics are making it more important today. In many developed countries, an increasing proportion of the overall population is made up of the elderly. This is coupled with the fact that healthcare is increasingly being pushed out of the hospital and into the home. Moreover, grandparents are playing an ever larger role in the raising of children (children often live with their grandparents). This is why so many new child resistant packaging concepts emphasize more complex opening mechanisms rather than the brute force defence of the safety cap.
Historically, the USA was the first country to introduce a standardized testing procedure. It required that 200 children had to prove not to be capable of opening a given package, while that same package could be opened and properly resealed by a test panel of 100 adults. Nowadays, standardized test procedures based on the same principles have been introduced in many other countries.
Around the world, there exist various packages which have been acknowledged as child resistant. There are some indications that the number of accidents in which children ingested hazardous products has declined since tests have been introduced. To what extent this is attributable to child resistant packaging is relatively hard to determine, but there is no doubt that child resistant packagings have made a positive contribution hereto.
The European regulation 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – also termed the CLP regulation – serves as a legal basis for child resistant packaging. Important standards for child safe packaging are ISO 8317, EN 14375, EN 862 and US 16 CFR § 1700.20. These testing procedures are necessary to meet both the child test requirements and the applicable adult test requirements for special packagings.
ISO 8317 is the international standard for reclosable child resistant packaging. It applies to pharmaceutical as well as to chemical technical products. This standard consists of two testing procedures for packagings. In one test with up to 200 infants aged 42 to 51 months, the children must not be able to open the packaging, which is filled with an innocuous substitute. On the other hand, a group of people aged 50 to 70 must be able to open and reclose the packaging without difficulty. The first test takes 10 minutes. The packaging is considered child resistant when less than 15 % of the children succeed in opening the packaging within 5 minutes and less than 20 % of the children can open it during the entire duration of 10 minutes. With regard to the second test, it is accepted that the packaging is suitable when at least 90 % of the adults can correctly open and reclose it.
EN 14375 is the European standard for non reclosable child resistant packagings for pharmaceutical products. It has replaced DIN 55559, which is not applicable anymore, and is especially relevant for blister packs or for stick packs and granule bags. As in ISO 8317, there are two necessary tests in which it must be proven that a well defined percentage of infants aged 42 to 51 months cannot open the packs, whereas people between 50 and 70 years can.
EN 862 is the international standard for non reclosable child resistant packagings for non pharmaceutical products. There are different types of non-reclosable child resistant packaging, such as packagings the content of which is used up in one application (unit dose, one unit), refill packs, sealed up bags, flow packs and packagings that are made up of several joint single packages for single use (e.g. blister packs). Similar to the testing procedures of ISO 8317, infants aged 42 to 51 months try to open the packaging within 5 (or 10) minutes and the evaluation is done as in ISO 8317. Tests involving senior citizens between 50 and 70 are optional.
The Belgian Packaging Institute is ISO 17025 accredited to hand out child resistance certificates. It has a long standing expertise in this field; no other Belgian organisation has this accreditation. Detailed practical informations and procedures can be obtained from Didier Wittebolle (D.Wittebolle@ibebvi.be), who is head of the Child Resistant Packaging Departement.
Moreover, the Belgian Packaging Institute is an active member of the working groups CEN/TC261/SC5WG27 and ISO/TC122/SC3/WG3. It contributed significantly to the development and reporting of the mechanical test methods for recloseable child resistant packagings EN ISO 13127. A few months ago this latter norm was officially recognized.
And in addition hereto, the Belgian Packaging Institute supports the revision of ISO 8317. This will result in the imminent publication of a new version.
Didier Wittebolle of the Belgian Packaging Institute provides support and advice for child resistant recipients designed for both the European and American markets. Don’t hesitate to forward your questions and comments to him. Joint efforts create win-win situations.
References WHO . World Report on Child Injury Prevention
CurTec manufactures high performance plastic packaging for pharmaceutical and chemical applications. We fulfil packaging needs of pharmaceutical companies producing active ingredients, excipients and solid dosage forms such as tablets and capsules. Adding value to your supply chain through clever packaging solutions is our target.
Added value lies predominantly in the areas of cleanliness, safety and reliability. CurTec understands that a packaging should be clean to avoid contamination in a process. And that a packaging should be certified to meet your quality demands.
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A new legislation in the Netherlands stipulates that since 01/04/2012 all organisms that want to perform one or more activities on the basis of the scheme “Approved bodies transport of dangerous goods” (Staatscourant 2009, n°.19721) have to be officially recognized by the Dutch government – Inpection Environment and Transport.
Until 01/04/2012, TÜV Rheinland (former TNO) was one of the recognized organisms, besides T&C PI. This recognition is now expired and not renewed.
This means that you must register your UN- marking at an organism recognized in the Netherlands or at a competent body abroad.
Currently T&C Packaging International, a subsidiary of the Belgian Packaging Institute, is the only recognized testing lab in the Netherlands in the field of packaging for dangerous goods.
The Belgian Packaging Institute and the German testing institute BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und - prüfung) signed a mutual agreement concerning the testing of packaging of dangerous goods.
This agreement allows the possibility of exchanging the production controls according to the quality systems of UN-certified packaging that is produced in one country and tested and certified in a another country.
Due to its increasing international activities, the Belgian Packaging Institute decided to open a first subsidiary company
T&C Packaging International, situated in Breda (the Netherlands). T&C Packaging International provides consultancy, training and testing in the field of packaging to the industry and the authorities. It acts as a contact with the market and as a mediator with the Dutch government.
T&C Packaging International
Testing & Consultancy Packaging International
Part of the IBE - BVI group
T&C Packaging International is officially recognised by the Dutch Authorities as an institute dealing with the UN-homologation and verification of packaging for dangerous goods. Together with the Belgian and the Luxembourg recognition IBE-BVI is now officially recognised as a testing institute for dangerous goods in the Benelux. All tests are carried out in the IBE-BVI laboratory (with ISO accredition 17025) located in Brussels- Belgium, according to standardised methods and procedures on both materials and packaging
UN-markings registered in the Netherlands can be transferred to T&C Packaging international • Beside the annual registration and audit costs (to settle at the transfer), no extra costs will be charged
• The registration can also be transferred for the reconditioning of packagings, the repairing and the maintenance of IBC’s and recognition as inspection entity for the annual inspections of IBC 2.5 - and 5 -
• During the first year a physical production audit will be carried out, according to the Dutch directives.
Do you have questions? Do not hesitate to contact us!
With the purchase of the new vibration table Lansmont 10000, the BPI laboratory meets the increasing demand for transport simulations. The Lansmont 10000 simulates how products and packaging behave during transport. Simulations are less cumbersome and less expensive than test transports. The results are reliable.
The sophisticated vibration table has a frequency range up to 300 Hertz. It simulates different types of vibrations which occur during a transport route. With a test weight up to 1300 kg and a table area of 1.5 x 1.5 meters (16.5 feet), large packages and even entire pallet cargos can be submitted to different vibration tests.
A first possibility is constant vibrations (loose load vibration), where the test object is blazed on a regular basis of the vibration table. This is an example for imitating the vibrations that non-secured goods undergo during transport on a bad road. This test is obligatory from 1 January 2011 on for the transport of dangerous goods in IBC 's. The test applies to IBC-types produced after 31 December 2010 the latest.
With the random vibration test, the test object will be submitted to different vibration frequencies, repeated on various bases. By this method a variety of situations during transport are simulated. This test is a reliable and repetitive alternative compared to the test transports that companies are doing themselves.
With a data recorder, it is possible to register the transport parameters during a ride ' on the field ' and subsequently to simulate them on the vibration table. The data recorder can be attached at the bottom of a pallet, packed with the goods, or be fixed directly on the means of transport. It will register, among other things, the vibration and shock levels and the time at which they appear. A transport process will be measured once or more times. The data from the recorder will be used after analysis for the control of the vibration table. Afterwards the transport can easily and accurately be simulated, time and time again. By using this method, it is possible to investigate in a simple and reliable way and compare the results.
The new vibration table is also equipped with an automatic sweep generator. In this mode, the vibration table may be accelerated from 0 to 8 g. One can detect resonant frequencies.
While testing, the BPI uses a set of internationally accepted standards. The ASTM standards (containers), ISTA-damage curve, ISO standards (transport packaging, impact tests and vibration testing) and the UN-tests (transport packaging).