A scientific study by the Food Packaging Forum has identified 175 potentially hazardous chemical substances in food packaging in Europe and the US.

Many of the substances have been classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic. Their use is completely legal under European rules, but manufacturers are asked to voluntarily avoid using them in food packaging.

Chemicals also identified in the study include phthalates that are used as plasticisers, as well as benzophenones and organotin compounds. Other endocrine disruptors are considered to interfere with the hormone system and a third group of chemicals is considered persistent and bioaccumulative.

Substances were identified by comparing two inventories of hazardous chemicals, the Substitute it Now! list and the TEDX list of endocrine disruptors.

Entitled ‘Food contact substances and chemicals of concern: A comparison of inventories’, the study has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Food Additives and Contaminants.

Food Packaging Forum managing director Dr Jane Muncke said: "Chemicals with highly toxic properties may legally be used in the production of food contact materials, but not in other consumer products such as computers, textiles and paints even though exposure through food contact materials may be far more relevant."

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Image: Use of hazardous chemicals in food packaging is completely legal under European rules. Photo: courtesy of artur84/