Following up on our previous blog entry, a recently passed statute by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) promises to muddy the pallet waters even further in the coming months and years. The statute addresses products shipped inbound either to manufacturers, retailers, distributors or consumers in the state of Oregon and the allowable percentage of Decabrominated diphenyl ether (DPE). A 0.10% limit of content by mass has been established. DPE is a fire retardant chemical added to, among other things, iGPS pallets in order to maintain UL certification. iGPS has come under significant criticism in the past two years for their choice of fire retardant, due to suspected health concerns after human contact or ingestion. The Oregon law poses a threat to manufacturers’ ability to ship on iGPS into the state of Oregon. While one state may not at first glance seem too concerning, anyone familiar with the nature of pallet pooling recognizes the larger impacts to this seemingly minor regulation. A long standing appeal of the pallet pooling model is their universal acceptance – the ability to unitize product on the pallet and ship anywhere. If a manufacturer has opted to utilize a pallet exceeding the guidelines set by the OHA, they may be forced to palletize Oregon-bound product on a different platform. This can of course lead to delays in the manufacturing flow, and the related administrative and cost burdens of managing another shipping platform.
Undoubtedly there is more to come with this development, and Propak, as with the rest of the supply chain industry, will keep close tabs on responses from all effected parties. To read the statute in its entirety, click here. To read associated commentary, see this article’s excellent commentary from Pallet Enterprise.