On November 18, 2016 the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavorings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) published a scientific opinion on the safety re-assessment of (butadiene, styrene, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate) copolymer cross-linked with divinylbenzene or 1,3-butanediol dimethacrylate (CAS 25101-28-4). This polymeric additive shall be used at up to 40% weight by weight (w/w) in blends of styrene acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN)/poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). Finished food contact articles containing the additive are intended for repeated use at room temperature or below with aqueous, acidic and/or low alcoholic foodstuffs for less than one day, and with dry foodstuffs for more than one day. The additive has a low molecular weight fraction (LMWF) below 1,000 Da of up to 3.3% and starts to thermally degrade at ca. 230°C, whereas the maximum temperature of processing finished articles is 250°C. Four of the substances released from the heated additive were also detected to be released from the finished food contact material (FCM), the CEF Panel reported. With repeated uses, migration of oligomers and reaction products into 3% acetic acid and 20% ethanol from a SAN/PMMA material decreased. After the third contact, cyclo-octatetraene, toluene, and a hexanedioic acid related substance were detected in the simulant samples at ca. 5 μg/kg food. Heated plastic samples with and without the additive released four volatiles (semi)quantified at ca. 1 μg/6 dm2 or less. The CEF Panel noted that it requested no toxicological data for the additive because there is no structural alert for genotoxicity, the manufacture uses authorized monomers, and potential migration of the LMWF is limited. Conclusively, the CEF Panel considers (butadiene, styrene, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate) copolymer cross-linked with divinylbenzene or 1,3-butanediol dimethacrylate safe for consumers if used at up to 40% w/w in blends of SAN/PMMA to make repeat-use articles for food contact intended to be used as described above.
CEF (November 18, 2016). “Safety assessment of the substance (butadiene, styrene, methyl methacrylate, butyl acrylate) copolymer cross-linked with divinylbenzene or 1,3-butanediol dimethacrylate for use in food contact materials.”