Exposure Assessment of Chemicals from Packaging Materials
A variety of chemicals may enter our food supply, by means of intentional or unintentional addition, at different stages of the food chain. These chemicals include food additives, pesticide residues, environmental contaminants, mycotox-ins, flavoring substances, and micronutrients. Packaging systems and other food-contact materials are also a source of chemicals contaminating food products and beverages. Monitoring exposure to these chemicals has become an integral part of ensuring the safety of the food supply. Within the context of the risk analysis approach and more specifically as an integral part of risk assessment procedures, the exercise known as exposure assessment is crucial in providing data to allow sound judgments concerning risks to human health. The exercise of obtaining this data is part of the process of revealing sources of contamination and assessing the effectiveness of strategies for minimizing the risk from chemical contamination in the food supply (Lambe, 2002) .
Human exposure to chemicals from food packaging and other food-contacting materials may occur as a result of migration from the packaging materials into the foods and beverages. The extent of migration and the inherent toxicity of the substance in question are the two factors which define the human health risk represented by packaging materials. In a formal risk analysis context the key components to be considered in a risk assessment of a packaging material are (1) chemistry and concentration data of the substance (exposure assessment) and (2) toxicology data (hazard characterization). In exposure assessment the use and the intended technical effect of the substance in packaging must be identified, the analytical methods for detection and/or quantification of the substance in the foods and in the packaging itself must be identified and implemented, and data for migration from packaging into foods and an evaluation of the consumer food intake must be collected. The hazard characterization component includes toxicology studies and the effects of different levels on health, and a comprehensive profile of the substance, including possible decomposition products.
KeywordsExposure Assessment Packaging Material Migration Data Tolerable Daily Intake Styrene Butadiene
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