On March 8, 2021, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) released a press statement reporting that its Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) does not support approving four silver substances for applications in the food and feed area.

The BPC, which met on March 2-5, 2021, concluded that it does not recommend approving silver-zinc zeolite (CAS 130328-20-0), silver zeolite (CAS 130328-18-6), silver copper zeolite (CAS 130328-19-7) as well as silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate (CAS 154339-84-1) for food contact applications.

These substances could, for example, be used to coat kitchen utensils such as cutting boards or applied in activated carbon filters. The published opinions of the BPC should soon be available on the committee’s webpage, and the next meeting of the group is scheduled to take place in June 2021.

Treating food contact materials with biocidal compounds and developing novel active packaging solutions have increasingly gained attention, especially applications with nano-silver, zinc oxide, and copper. In January 2021, thirteen civil society organizations wrote an open letter to ECHA requesting clarification on regulation and risk management of nanometal biocides in products (FPF reported).

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ECHA (March 10, 2021). “Biocides Committee proposes not to approve four silver-containing active substances.