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.
In an article published online on August 9, 2021, in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, Edoardo Galbiati and colleagues from the NutriFOODchem Research Group, Ghent University, Belgium, reported on a hazard prioritization of chemicals used in printing inks and adhesives in plastic food contact materials (FCMs).
To prioritize hazardous substances, the researchers first compiled an inventory of chemicals intentionally used in printing inks and adhesives of plastic FCMs by reviewing scientific publications and regulatory documents including the Swiss Ordinance Annex 10 on materials and articles in contact with food. Subsequently, they performed several steps to exclude substances not considered relevant such as chemicals without a CAS number, chemicals with a molecular weight above 1000 Dalton, and according to selected criteria based on the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) concept. For the remaining chemicals, Galbiati et al. performed hazard prioritization by comparing them to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC) for authorization under the REACH regulation (FPF reported), to the SIN list (FPF reported), the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal, and a list of substances used in printed paper and board FCMs published by Van Bossuyt et al. (FPF reported). When toxicity data was absent or scarce, the scientists followed the TCC approach to predict the chemical’s toxicity based on the chemicals’ structural information and estimated exposure level. Any of the substances present on the SVHC or SIN lists, in Van Bossuyt et al., in a notification from the RASFF portal, or with a Structural Alert (S.A.) for genotoxic carcinogenicity were considered as high priority. Chemicals classified as Cramer Class III or a S.A. for non-genotoxic carcinogenicity were ranked as medium priority. High and medium priority substances were presented to five experts from industry and academia to gain their opinion whether the chemical is “relevant or not for further investigation with respect to its migration from inks and adhesives used in food contact materials.”
Food Packaging Forum, 13 August 2021