Emerging Chemicals in Food Packaging: Toxicological Profiling of Knowns and Unknowns

January 18, 2018
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Food contact materials (FCMs), which are any type of item intended to come into contact with foods, represent a potential source of human exposure to chemicals. However, information on the chemical constituents of food contact materials made of paper and board and their potential health impacts remains scarce, which hampers safety evaluation of the materials.

Dr. Anne Marie Vinggaard and her team at the Research Group for Molecular and Reproductive Toxicology at the Technical University of Denmark’s National Food Institute have developed an effect-directed strategy to identify and characterize emerging chemicals in paper and board food contact materials, using a broad panel of in vitro assays and state-of-the art analytical chemistry. Twenty food contact materials were analyzed to identify biological activities including effects on endocrine receptors, cellular signaling pathways, and mutagenicity, and all samples were positive for at least one activity. Two of these FCMs were also carried through a complete step-by-step multi-tiered approach: a pizza box exhibited estrogenic activity, likely caused by the identified presence of bisphenol A, di-butyl phthalate, and benzyl butyl phthalate, and a sandwich wrapper exhibited antiandrogen activity, likely caused by abietic acid and dehydroabietic acid. Migration studies confirmed that the active chemicals can be transferred from food contact materials to foods. Dr. Vinggaard and her team conclude that increased focus should be directed towards food contact materials, as they can be a significant source of human exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Featured Speaker

Anne Marie VinggaardAnne Marie Vinggaard, PhD, is a professor at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, where she is an expert in molecular toxicology. She has over 20 years of experience within toxicology with a focus on endocrine activity of chemicals, cocktail effects of chemicals, and mechanisms of toxicant action.






This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Carol Kwiatkowski and Katie Pelch (TEDX), Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal Program on Endocrine Disruption Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Maria Williams (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page.

This webinar was moderated by Carol Kwiatkowski, PhD, Executive Director of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.