Several studies determine chemical migration from food packaging

Researchers from several European and Chinese institutions develop methods to explore chemicals in food contact materials (FCMs); report styrene migration from different polystyrene FCMs into several food matrices; detect photoinitiators in paper FCMs and chlorinated paraffins in green tea and its packaging; find irradiation treatment of metalized polypropylene to reduce migration of tested chemicals

Scientists use in silico-based models to prioritize food contact chemicals

Two studies applied computational methods to screen food contact chemicals (FCCs) for carcinogenic properties or interaction with 31 nuclear receptors; one identifies 44 potential carcinogens among 1623 assessed FCCs; other finds more than half of 8091 screened FCCs with high binding affinity for several nuclear receptors

EFSA publishes guidance on chemical grouping for risk assessments

Final version of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance prioritizes hazard-driven criteria for grouping chemicals; supports human health risk assessments of combined chemical exposures; recommends relying on mechanistic information on toxicity within a weight-of-evidence approach

Reviews discuss health hazards of plastics including PFAS

Medical professionals elaborate on health hazards connected with plastic production, use, and waste; give options to reduce impacts on humans and the planet; scientists summarize current knowledge on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) occurrence and migration from food packaging and microplastics

Phthalates: ‘Safe’ levels may not be protective of human health

New peer-reviewed scientific study by the Food Packaging Forum and academic scientists shows regulatory ‘safe’ limits for human exposure to phthalates may be set at levels not sufficiently protective of human health; analysis reviews 38 human health studies; highlights need for revising current approach and to re-assess the safety of chemicals already on the market

Two articles review oligomers and other chemicals migrating from bio-based products

Research study compares different techniques for oligomer detection and finds polyester oligomers migrate from biopolymers; book chapter discusses catalysts, volatile organic compounds, and additives in bio-based products, including their migration and safety

EFSA publishes draft opinion and protocol for phthalates in FCMs

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes draft opinion on prioritization of phthalates used in food contact materials (FCMs), protocol for dietary exposure assessment of prioritized substances; both documents open for public comment until December 16, 2021

Scientists estimate costs of phthalate-associated mortality

Scientific article evaluates mortality in relation to US adult phthalates exposure and quantifies costs; associates phthalate exposure with mortality stemming from all causes, cardiovascular mortality, and a societal cost of $39 to 47 billion per year

Why do “chemicals” need simplifying?

Scientists’ Viewpoint proposes ‘chemical simplification’ to deal with increasing chemical pollution; names reduction of number of chemicals used in products and grouping approaches as cornerstones for simplification and innovation in science and engineering as prerequisite

German BfR comments on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) comments on the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS); criticizes the alleged exclusion of scientific risk assessment experts in the development and implementation of the CSS; comments supported by others with demonstrated ties to chemical industry.