In an article published on February 21, 2019, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced the launch of a public consultation to review its updated draft opinion on the risk assessment of five phthalates currently authorized for use in food contact materials (FCMs). In the updated opinion, EFSA’s panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, and Processing Aids (CEP Panel) established a group tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 50 µg/kg body weight (bw) per day for the four phthalates di-butylphthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), butylbenzylphthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7), bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7), and di-isononylphthalate (DINP, CAS 28553-12-0). The phthalate di-isodecylphthalate (DIDP, CAS 26761-40-0) was assigned its own TDI of 150 µg/kg bw per day.

EFSA notes that the “combined dietary exposure to DBP, BBP, DEHP and DINP is estimated to be less than one quarter of the group TDI for all European consumers, including the most sensitive population groups, even in the worst-case scenario.” For DIDP, they estimate that dietary exposure is around 1,500 times below the set individual TDI.

The updated draft is set to replace the original risk assessments for these phthalates in FCMs, which were released in 2005. The public consultation is open until April 19, 2019, and EFSA will hold a webinar on March 15, 2019 to present and discuss the approach taken to develop the draft opinion. Registration to the webinar is currently open, and participation is limited to 500 participants. The recordings of the webinar will be made publicly available.

Read more

EFSA (February 21, 2019). “Public consultation: phthalates used in food contact materials.

EFSA (February 21, 2019). “Public Consultation on EFSA’s draft assessment of five phthalates used in plastic food contact materials.

EFSA (February 6, 2019). “Draft update of the risk assessment of di-butylphthalate (DBP), butyl-benzyl-phthalate (BBP), bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), di-isononylphthalate (DINP) and di-isodecylphthalate (DIDP) for use in food contact materials.(pdf)

EFSA (February 21, 2019). “Webinar: Learn more about the risk assessment of phthalates used in plastic food contact materials.