ECETOC report recommends alternative AFs

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) publishes report reviewing derived no-effect levels (DNELs); finds European Chemicals Agency’s default assessment factors (AFs) “in some cases overly conservative”; recommends reviewing and using alternative AFs

UN adopts ecosystem accounting framework

United Nation Statistical Commission formally adopts framework aimed to account for the presence and quality of ecosystem assets within different countries; defines five ecosystem accounts, aims to expand global policymaking focus beyond just considering metrics such as gross domestic product (GDP) to ‘make nature count’

World Happiness Report 2021 applies Wellby approach

Latest published report focuses on the effects of COVID-19 on happiness across countries and regions, describes and evaluates how governments have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic; applies Wellby (Well-Being-Adjusted Life-Years) approach to account for length and quality of life, measures progress

EFSA guide on applications for active packaging

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes administrative guide on how to submit applications for new active, intelligent materials and articles intended for food contact; describes procedures, timelines for handling applications; will be updated as necessary

Scientists request US EPA to ban PFAS as a class

Group of 67 scientists send letter to new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, requesting class-based ban on all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) except for essential uses; argue this would provide efficient process to greatly reduce exposure, further recommend EPA to require toxicity testing of widely present PFAS

EFSA guide on applications for plastics recycling processes

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes administrative guide on how to submit applications for new plastic recycling processes for products intended for food contact; describes procedures, timelines for handling applications; will be updated as necessary

IPEN: Gender inequality and chemical exposure

New report by International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) highlights the effects toxic chemicals have on women, special vulnerabilities faced from toxic exposure; provides recommendations to safeguard the health of women, includes focusing on phasing out hazardous chemicals highly impacting women, preventing pregnant women from working with hazardous chemicals

EFSA working group updates in November 2020 to March 2021

Minutes from recent meetings of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) CEP panel and working groups on bisphenol A (BPA), food contact materials (FCMs), recycling plastics, and phthalates published; groups continue discussions and revisions of draft opinions; new working group on re-evaluation of phthalates and structurally similar substances in FCMs launched

ECHA public consultation on proposing 4 FCCs as SVHCs

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launches public consultation on identifying eight new substances of very high concern (SVHCs); four are food contact chemicals (FCCs): bisphenol B, 1,4-dioxane, medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCP), and phenol alkylation products with C12-rich branched or linear alkyl chains from oligomerization (PDDP); open for public comment until April 23, 2021

PFAS alternatives for paper food packaging

Article in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety discusses alternatives for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper food packaging; considers lamination with waxes and polymer films, alternative surface sizing and coatings; views finding cost-effective, fully biodegradable, and environmentally friendly alternatives challenging