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Investigation of the primary plasticizers present in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products currently authorized as food contact materials
Abstract and Figures
PVC is a common food contact material that is usually plasticized to increase its flexibility. Phthalates are one class of chemical compounds that are often used as plasticizers in PVC in a wide range of industries. They may be used in packaging materials for foods and can also be found in components of certain food processing equipment such as conveyor belts and tubing. Transfer of plasticizers from packaging to foods can occur. In recent years, there has been increased interest in understanding the health effects of phthalates, as well as the possible human exposure levels. However, there is limited information available about the routes of exposure to phthalates. In July 2014, the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) produced a report for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) detailing the potential health hazards of phthalates and phthalate alternatives. This report listed diet as one factor contributing greater than or equal to 10% of total phthalate exposure. As a result of this report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is interested in determining the types of the primary plasticizer present in food packaging and processing materials as well as their concentrations. An investigation was conducted of fifty-six different samples of PVC food packaging and food processing materials available in the U.S. market using a solvent extraction and GC-MS analysis. Nine different plasticizers including three phthalates, diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), were identified in the products tested. The plasticizer concentrations ranged from 1- 53% depending on the types of food contact materials and the type of plasticizer. Overall, it appears that manufacturers are switching away from phthalates as their primary plasticizer to alternate compounds such as ESBO, ATBC, DEHT, DINCH, DEHA and DINA.
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