On January 18, 2018, Anne Marie Vinggaard from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, gave an overview of the progress made by her group in the area of in vitro testing of food contact materials (FCMs) during a webinar held by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) (FPF reported).

Two groups of substances, bisphenols and various fluorochemicals, were assessed and found to be active in several types of nuclear receptor assays, pointing to their potential endocrine activity (FPF reported). Furthermore, extracts of 20 different types of paper and board FCMs were analysed and found to be active in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) assays, with most extracts also showing activity in various other in vitro tests (FPF reported). Notably, abietic acid (AA, CAS 514-10-3) and dehydroabietic acid (DHAA, CAS 19402-28-9) were identified as potent antiandrogens. These substances can be present as natural components of pine wood resin at low levels, but it is more likely that both AA and DHAA were added as additives for paper sizing.

Vinggaard concluded that FCMs “should be given more attention” because they represent a significant source of exposure to biologically active chemicals. In vitro bioassays may be expected to become an important tool for assessing FCMs’ safety in the future.

The webinar’s recording can be accessed on CHE’s website.

Read more

CHE (January 18, 2018). “Emerging chemicals in food packaging: Toxicological profiling of knowns and unknowns.