In an article published on June 28, 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Lancet Oncology, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) summarized its evaluation of the four acrylate chemicals, classifying them in the group 2B, i.e., possibly carcinogenic to humans.
The four substances are methyl acrylate (MA, CAS 96-33-3), ethyl acrylate (EA, CAS 140-88-5), 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (EHA, CAS 103-11-7), and trimethylopropane tricacrylate (TMPTA, CAS 15625-89-5). All four are included in the FACET inventory of food contact materials (FCMs), and all except TMPTA are listed in the Annex I of the Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic FCMs. TMPTA is known to be used as a curing agent for UV-cured food contact adhesives.
In a press release published on July 11, 2018, trade association American Chemistry Council (ACC) called the IARC’s decision to classify MA, EA, and EHA in the Group 2B “erroneous and misleading” and said that it is “based on poor science and a flawed, non-transparent process.” ACC has a long history of criticizing the IARC’s work and classifications issued (FPF reported).
Chemical Watch (July 18, 2018). “Four acrylates ‘possibly carcinogenic,’ IARC says.”
Kromhout, H., et al. (2018). “Carcinogenicity of isobutyl nitrite, beta-picoline, and some acrylates.” Lancet Oncology (published June 28, 2018).