On February 19, 2021, the US state of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the publication of a draft report that identified substances proposed for listing as food contact chemicals (FCCs) of high concern under Maine’s Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging law.

The draft report includes only chemicals or group of chemicals that have been listed by an authoritative governmental entity, such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as either: (1) a carcinogen or a reproductive or developmental toxicant, (2) an endocrine disruptor, (3) being persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or (4) being very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB). In addition, if substances have been detected in biomonitoring studies or as migrating from or present in food packaging, this led to an increase in their priority.

The list of chemicals in the draft includes:

  • bisphenols (bisphenol A (BPA; CAS 80-05-7), bisphenol B (BPB; CAS 77-40-7), bisphenol S (BPS; CAS 80-09-1), bisphenol F (BPF; CAS 620-92-8))
  • 4-octyl phenol (CAS 1806-26-4)
  • octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4; CAS 556-67-2)
  • toluene (CAS 108-88-3)
  • styrene (CAS 100-42-5)
  • benzene (CAS 71-43-2)
  • methylenedianiline (CAS 101-77-9)
  • parabens (propyl paraben (CAS 94-13-3), butyl paraben (CAS 94-26-8), methyl paraben (CAS 99-76-3), ethyl paraben (CAS 120-47-8))
  • benzophenone (CAS 119-61-9)
  • nonylphenol (CAS 25154-52-3)

Comments and accompanying documentation can be submitted to the DEP’s official contact until March 10, 2021.

In June 2019, the state’s Toxic Chemicals In Food Packaging legislation [LD 1433] was passed (FPF reported). As of January 1, 2022, intentionally adding phthalates to food packaging sold in Maine will be banned.

Read More

Terry Hyland (March 25, 2021). “Maine’s food contact ‘high concern’ list too broad and unnecessary, industry says.” Chemical Watch

DEP (February 8, 2021). “Draft Food Contact Chemicals of High Concern Criteria Documentation.

DEP (February 8, 2021). “Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging Food Contact Chemicals of High Concern Criteria Documentation.” (pdf)

DEP (February 8, 2021). “Maine Toxics in Food Packaging Program.

SGS (March 1, 2021). “Maine, USA, publishes draft list of food contact chemicals of high concern.

Keller and Heckman LLP (February 19, 2021). “Maine Identifies Potential Food Contact Chemicals of High Concern.