14 May 2022

Phthalates and other plasticisers, priorities for reassessment

The European Food Standards Agency has begun preparatory work to re-evaluate the health risks from plasticisers such as phthalates, structurally similar substances, and substances used to replace phthalates in food contact materials.

Box containing muffin
© Caroline Attwood/Unsplash

The scientific opinion, requested by the European Commission, focusses on plasticisers used in different types of food contact materials (FCMs) such as  plastics, rubber and inks across the food chain.

Only substances authorised for use in FCMs at EU or at national level were prioritised. EFSA ranked them into three groups based on their most recent risk assessment as an FCM substance: ‘high priority’ -  assessed before 2001, ‘medium priority’ – assessed between 2001 and 2011, and ‘low priority’ if assessed since 2011.

EFSA will launch calls for data on the occurrence of prioritised substances in food and in FCMs before the summer to help finetune the prioritisation ranking and derive exposure estimates for the risk assessments.

More information can be found at the EFSA site.