July 7, 2014
Author: Charlotte Wagner

Hazardous substances in food contact

A new scientific publication by the Food Packaging Forum identifies hazardous substances legally used in food contact

On July 7, 2014 a study entitled “Food contact substances and chemicals of concern: A comparison of inventories” was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Food Additives and Contaminants, Part A. In the study, the authors from the Food Packaging Forum identified 175 potentially hazardous substances legally used in the production of food contact materials in Europe and the U.S.. The substances were identified by comparing two inventories of hazardous chemicals, the Substitute it Now! list and the TEDX list of endocrine disruptors to publically available databases of food contact substances. Databases of food contact substances included the list of food additives authorized in the U.S. published by the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2013 (Neltner et al 2013), the European Food and Safety Authority’s  (EFSA) ESCO Working Group list of non-plastic food contact substances and Annex I of EC 10/2011 including plastic food contact substances authorized for use in Europe. Many of the 175 substances identified are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic. Others are considered to interfere with the hormone system, so called endocrine disruptors. A third group of chemicals is considered persistent and bioaccumulative.

Reference

Birgit Geueke, Charlotte C. Wagner, Jane Muncke (2014). “Food contact substances and chemicals of concern: A comparison of inventories.Food Additives and Contaminants, Part A (published online July 7, 2014).