On July 14, 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published two scientific opinions on glass fiber-sizing agents and perfluoromethyl perfluorovinylether (MVE, CAS 1187-93-5) used in food contact materials (FCMs). Sizing agents are surface coatings for glass fibers used in glass fiber-reinforced plastics. They ensure that the glass filaments hold together and adhere to the polymer matrix. EFSA’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) concluded that migration of sizing agents from glass fiber-reinforced plastics is low and therefore no particular health risks from sizing agents are expected. Glass fiber-reinforced plastic is covered by the EU regulation on plastic FCMs (Regulation (EU) No 10/2011) and glass fiber-sizing agents shall be included in Annex I of the regulation (Union List of substances authorized for use in plastic FCMs) in 2016.

MVE is used as a co-monomer for fluoro- and perfluoropolymers. These polymers are used in O-rings, gaskets and seals for repeated use in food processing applications that may contact all types of food. CEF estimated that the worst-case specific migration of MVE is lower than 0.07 µg/kg food. Repeat use migration was calculated to be 4 µg/kg in 3 % acetic acid, 3 µg/kg in 20 % ethanol and 9 µg/kg in olive oil. CEF concluded that the substance is not of genotoxic concern. Further, CEF considers MVE safe for consumers if used as intended for fluoro- and perfluoropolymers in the mentioned applications. CEF noted that perfluorinated compounds can have high potential for bioaccumulation. However, based on their assessment CEF sees no reason for concern regarding accumulation of MVE in the human body under the proposed conditions of use.

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CEF (July 14, 2015). “Approach for safety assessment of glass fibre-sizing agents in glass fibre-reinforced plastics for food contact.

CEF (July 14, 2015). “Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the substance perfluoromethyl perfluorovinylether, CAS No 1187-93-5, for use in food contact materials.

Joe Whitworth (July 15, 2015). “Solvay Specialty Polymers request to expand MVE use approved.Food Production Daily