India India amends the standard to regulate chemical substance in printing inks used for food packaging

On June 18, 2020, India published the notification including the amendment of “IS 15495:Printing Ink for Food packaging”. 2004 version was repealed on July 3 and the provisions of IS 15495:2020 must be referenced. In 2020 version, the use of toluene, phthalate esters and titanium acetylacetonate is newly banned. It also sets a limit of 100 ppm for the total content of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium in printing ink.


The raw materials and substances to be excluded from the composition of the printing ink are as follows.


  • A-1: Pigments and compounds based on antimony, arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury and selenium (with exceptions)
  • A-2: Dyes (auramine, chrysoidin, etc.)

For pigments and dyes based on heavy metals, the following limits are to be observed.


Metal Requirement(ppm)
As 25
Ba 1000
Cd 75
Cr (VI) 60
Hg 60
Pb 90
Sb 60
  • A-3: Solvents (benzene, dichlorobenzene, toluene, etc.)
  • A-4: Plasticizer (polychlorinated naphthalene, chlorinated paraffin, etc.)
  • A-5: Various compounds (asbestos, hexachlorocyclohexane, etc.)


The responsibilities of ink manufacturers are as follows.


  • Strive to manufacture inks and coatings by using only raw materials other than those classified as toxic, carcinogenic, sensitizing or mutagenic.
  • Periodic testing of ink components, solvents and distillates that may migrate from packaging to food.
  • Monitor for impurities from raw materials (including raw materials and substances to be excluded from the composition of the ink) in printing inks (Ensure that suppliers maintain a minimum of impurities in their products).
  • Disclose Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

Author / Responsibility


Senior Research Associate, Research & Consulting Dept. EnviX Ltd.

Business Performance

In charge of South Asia (India, Bangladesh, etc.), South Korea, Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, etc.) and Turkey for managing infomation on the environmental regulations


MA, Environment, Development and Policy, University of Sussex