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The Publishing Industry Product Safety Forum (PIPS)

The Publishing Industry Product Safety forum (PIPS) is an initiative conceived by Egmont Publishing UK in 2010. Now supported by 12 publishing houses, PIPS screens the chemical make-up of inks, varnishes and adhesives before they are used. This allows both the publisher and the supplier to be sure that they are meeting the new and more onerous demands of EU chemical legislation

The collaboration was inspired by the need to ensure that our books do not contain certain chemicals as defined by European legislation (REACH and EN71). This legislation protects people, particularly vulnerable children, from toxic chemicals which could have an adverse effect on human health.

The secretariat of PIPS engages with suppliers to obtain the chemical recipes of materials used by members (ink, varnish etc.) and checks them against the lists of chemicals defined by legislation. Once the materials are declared safe, members then know they can be used. In addition, the chemical make-up captured by the database can be output to create a list of materials and their chemical components going into each book, known as a Bill of Materials. The automated Bill of Material then forms part of the technical file which is required by law for some products.

The database has 23 users.