On February 28, 2018, the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) published the minutes of the first meeting of its Working Group (WG) on Phthalates. The meeting of the phthalates WG was held on February 7-8, 2018 in Parma, Italy.

EFSA received a mandate from the European Commission to update its 2005 scientific opinions on the safety assessment of dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7), and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7). These substances have been authorized as plasticizers and technical support agents for use in plastic food contact materials (FCMs) (see Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011). The mandate came in response to an opinion by the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) published in March 2017, which supports the restriction of DBP, BBP, DEHP, and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP, CAS 84-69-5) under REACH (FPF reported).

During the meeting, EFSA’s 2005 opinions and ECHA RAC’s 2017 opinion were summarized and compared. The members of the phthalates WG discussed the content of the draft opinion on DBP, BBP, and DEHP to be prepared, and distributed workplan tasks among the group members. The WG noted that DBP, BBP, and especially DEHP are being replaced by other phthalates such as diisononyl phthalate (DINP, CAS 28553-12-0). This should be taken into account in the combined exposure assessment to “better reflect the current exposure pattern of the general population.”

The next meeting of the phthalates WG is scheduled for March 8-9, 2018.

Read more

CEF (February 28, 2018). “Minutes of the 1st meeting of the Working Group on Phthalates.(pdf)