The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) lowered the TDI of phenol (CAS 108-95-2) in a scientific opinion published on April 30, 2013. The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) reevaluated the hazard potential of phenol and lowered the TDI from 1.5 to 0.5 mg/kg bw/day on the basis of new toxicological studies. The derived TDI does not consider the hazard of possible oxidation products such as quinones and hydroquinones, which need to be evaluated separately. The panel concluded that the European Commission should consider other routes of exposure, including flavorings, smoked food products, floor waxes, cosmetics and disinfectants when setting a restriction for phenols in food contact materials. The reevaluation had been requested by the German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in response to the publication of a European Union risk assessment report (EU-RAR) on phenol in 2006. Phenol had last been evaluated in 1984.


CEF (2013). “Scientific Opinion on the toxicological evaluation of phenol.” EFSA Journal 2013;11(4):3189-3233.