Pre-consumer and recycled plastic pellets contain hazardous substances

International Pollution Elimination Network and partners publish two studies investigating toxic substances in plastic pellets; virgin plastic pellets recovered from beaches on six continents all contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and endocrine-disrupting UV stabilizers; over half of the samples of recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pellets contain at least 11 out of 18 flame retardants and UV stabilizers assessed

Scientific studies evaluate microplastic effects on human cells

Rapid review assesses microplastics impacts on human cells and reports thresholds of effects lower than previously predicted; scientific study finds polystyrene (PS) microplastics to have nephrotoxic potential; reproduction and fertility study with mice reports PS microplastics to affect females more than males

Study finds UV stabilizers with endocrine-disrupting potential in plastics

Research study identifies 8 of 13 benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BUVSs) as endocrine disruptors; finds 8 of 9 tested BUVSs in polyolefin packaging

Toxicological and chemical profiling of plastic migrates

Scientific study investigates in vitro toxicity and composition of chemical mixtures migrating from everyday plastic products made of eight polymer types; demonstrates that thousands of chemicals can leach under realistic use conditions, including compounds toxic in vitro that contribute to human exposure; emphasizes the importance to rethink and redesign plastics to achieve safe materials

Hazard prioritization of printing inks and adhesives substances

Scientific study performs hazard prioritization on chemicals in printing inks and adhesives applied to plastic food packaging; uses publicly available “substances of concern” lists and an in silico tool; identifies 636 high and 1024 medium priority substances of which 696 ranked as “very high priority substances” by experts

Study finds microplastics induce reproductive toxicity in male mice

Study investigates reproductive toxicity of environmental concentrations of polystyrene (PS) microplastics to male mice; further examines underlying molecular mechanism; study is first to find long-term PS microplastic exposure affects sperm quality and testosterone levels in mice

Bioassay-based analysis of chemicals in paper & cardboard

Scientific study evaluates presence of hazardous chemicals in methanolic extracts from paper and cardboard food contact materials (FCMs) using several bioassays; finds oxidative stress (52%), genotoxicity (100%), impacts on xenobiotic metabolism (74%), antiandrogenic (52%) and antioestrogenic effects (39%); recommends an effect-based approach for hazard identification of food contact chemicals

FPF comments on EFSA’s non-monotonic dose response opinion

Scientific Committee’s Scientific Opinion fails to deliver on European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) commitment to scientific excellence and transparency; Food Packaging Forum (FPF) sends open letter to EFSA’s leadership urging them to address severe shortcomings in content and process; adequate scientific appraisal of non-monotonic dose response (NMDR) is critical for chemical risk assessment that protects public health

Scientists measure mixtures of EDCs from human placenta

Study by the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) finds chemical mixture extracts from human placenta with endocrine-disrupting properties, confirming developmental exposure to EDCs in the womb; novel method can help identify the link between chemical exposures and harmful human health outcomes

GenX: developmental toxicant in rats

Study finds developmental toxicity in rats for hexafluoropropylene oxide-dimer acid (HFPO-DA or GenX); exposure results in reduced pup birth weights, increased pup liver weight, and reduced neonatal survival; similar adverse effects to other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances; knowledge gaps regarding clearance rate and human half-life