On September 20, 2016 the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published its Annual Report 2015 including e.g. chapters on food, product and chemicals safety, risk communication, and alternatives to animal experiments. The report covers a study on silver nanoparticles, which may derive from food packaging and food supplements, and the influence of the digestion process on their effects in the gastrointestinal tract (FPF reported). The results showed that small quantities of the particles pass the gut barrier and enter the blood stream. Since the long-term effects of silver nanoparticles in humans are not known, the BfR recommends against the use of such particles in consumer products. Other topics of the annual report relevant to food contact materials and human health describe projects on microplastics, the toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), exposure studies, and further nanotechnology research.

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BfR (September 20, 2016). “Annual Report 2015.” (pdf)


Lichtenstein et al. (2015). “Impact of food components during in vitro digestion of silver nanoparticles on cellular uptake and cytotoxicity in intestinal cells.Biological Chemistry 396(11): 1255-1264.