Alternate Materials, Markets Workaround to Safety Issues

Alternate Materials, Markets Workaround to Safety Issues

While manufacturers are working to improve IQC by replacing materials with safer alternatives, and turning to different export destinations are the best options.

As raw materials are frequently blamed for safety concerns, China manufacturers of finished products are working to introduce stricter controls for monitoring and evaluation. In the majority of cases, however, businesses are simply looking for alternatives or moving to markets for exports that have lesser stringent safety requirements.

Suppliers, especially OEM manufacturers, use materials that are based on the buyers’ specifications. The idea is that buyers know what materials are suitable to export to their market. From the perspective of manufacturers, they typically use test reports supplied from their vendors in order to prove that the material meets the requirements of chemical and physical properties. Buyers who prefer to employ an independent lab to verify the results of tests are able to do it at their own expense.

The problem with this procedure, however, is that the suppliers of raw materials might send different batches of their product to the testing organization and factories. The decision to choose an established supplier does not entirely eliminate the possibility, as was demonstrated by the Mattel case three years ago. A manufacturer in Foshan, Guangdong province, was relying upon its continual paint supplier to make sure that there was no lead in the product. However, the toys had high levels of lead, leading to an extensive recall off US shelves.

Certain companies, like Zhejiang Dongfeng Arts and Crafts Co. Ltd., are taking a proactive approach to reducing the risks to products caused by raw materials. The company, which makes toys and presents, examines every batch of materials that it receives to ensure that they meet safety, chemical, and physical standards.

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However, it is expensive, taxing, and long-lasting. This is why other companies prefer to offer better alternatives to the materials that buyers prefer instead. Xiamen International Trade & Industrial Co. Ltd, for example, used to sell bags for sports made of PVC fabric. However, after the EU banned products containing Phthalate, the company was forced to come up with a viable alternative. Since customers considered the phthalate-free PVC too costly, PU fabric is employed instead.

The maker of sports bottles, Zhejiang Yongkang Huachuan Electronic Appliance Co. Ltd., had used a similar method. The aluminum’s inner wall models are usually coated to keep the beverage’s temperature for longer. However, the coating could also contain phenolic resins, which could cause respiratory illnesses or even cancer. Therefore, aluminum bottles that enter the EU need to have total phenolic resin toxicity lower than 60 mg/kg. Companies that are not willing to conform to the requirements but are more likely to look to alternative markets like Southeast Asia.

Buyers who purchase from these destinations pay greater attention to the prices more than raw materials or security concerns. PVC fabric, for example, is not banned within regions like the Middle East and Africa.

Substitutes may not be suitable for everyone.

While Xiamen International is considering adopting PVC fabric on its lower-end bags for sports, The company insists that being cheap does not mean dangerous. Many times the fabrics are priced lower because they’re thinner and have a lower count.

There are some sellers that are willing to use inferior products to boost their margins. Some furniture exporters from Foshan, For instance, include padding made of substandard sponges that may not be as safe as some unscrupulous manufacturers claim they are. If they are not thoroughly tested, such variations aren’t easy to spot.

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Similar deceit is prevalent in the field of mobile phones. It is located in Shenzhen, Guangdong, mobile phone maker Power Idea Technology Co. Ltd stated that a handful of small suppliers offer lower prices to conclude an order. However, the quality of products they choose to utilize is not as good as what they told the customer. Instead of using virgin ABS, for instance, the manufacturers might incorporate recycled ABS in order to cut down on the costs of raw materials. Although the use of recycled plastic isn’t prohibited in food-grade items, using the material can affect their physical and functional properties as well as the quality of the final items. Recycled ABS isn’t as strong and shiny, while the color is not as sharp.



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