Exposure Assessment of Chemicals from Packaging Materials

  • Maria de Fátima Poças
  • Timothy Hogg
Part of the Integrating Safety and Environmental Knowledge Into Food Studies towards European Sustainable Development book series (ISEKI-Food, volume 4)

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.


Exposure Assessment Packaging Material Migration Data Tolerable Daily Intake Styrene Butadiene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cullen, A.C.; Frey, H.C., 1999. Probabilistic Techniques in Exposure Assessment: A Handbook for Dealing with Variability and Uncertainty in Models and Inputs . Society of Risk Analysis , New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. EC, 2001. Report on Dietary Food Additive Intake in the European Union. Health & Consumer Protection DGGoogle Scholar
  3. Gilsenan, M.B.; Lambe, J.; Gibney, M.J., 2003. Assessment of food intake input distributions for use in probabilistic exposure assessments of food additives. Additives and Contaminants20 (11), 1023–1033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hart, A.; Smith, G.C.; Macarthur, R.; Rose, M., 2003. Application of uncertainty analysis in assessing dietary exposure. Toxicology Letters, 140–141, 437–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Holmes, M.J.; Hart, A.; Northing, P.; Oldring, P.K.T.; Castle, L., 2005. Dietary exposure to chemical migrants from food contact materials: a probabilistic approach. Food Additives and Contaminants22 (10), 907–919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ILSI, 2001. Report Series — Exposure from Food Contact Materials — Summary Report of a Workshop held in October 2001, ILSI EuropeGoogle Scholar
  7. Kroes, R.; Muller, D.; Lambe, J.; Lowik, M.R.H.; Klaveren, J.; Kleiner, J.; Massey, R.; Mayer, S.; Urieta, I.; Verger, P.; Visconti, A., 2002. Assessment of intake from the diet. Food and Chemical Toxicology40, 327–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lambe, J., 2002. The use of food consumption data in assessments of exposure to food chemicals including the application of probabilistic modelling. Proceedings of the Symposium “Nutritional Aspects of Food Safety”. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society61, 11–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Leber, A.P., 2001. Human exposures to monomers resulting from consumer contact with polymers. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 135–136, 215–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lipton, J.; Shaw, W.D.; Holmes, J.; Patterson, A., 1995. Selecting input distributions for use in Monte Carlo simulations. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology21, 192–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Luetzow, M., 2003. Harmonization of exposure assessment for food chemicals: the international perspective. Toxicology Letters, 140–141, 419–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Parmar, B.; Miller, P.F.; Burt, R., 1997. Stepwise approaches for estimating the intakes of Chemicals in food. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology26, 44–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Petersen, B.J.,2000.Probabilistic modelling: theory andpractice. FoodAdditivesand Contaminants, 17 (7), 591–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Poças, M.F.; Hogg, T., 2007. Exposure assessment of chemicals from packaging materials in foods: a review. Trends in Food Science & Technology18, 219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rees, N.M.A.; Tennant, D.R., 1993. Estimating consumer intakes of food chemical contaminants. In: Watson, D.H. (Ed.), Safety of Chemicals in Food: Chemical ContaminxHorwood, Chichester, pp. 175–181.Google Scholar
  16. SEFEL, 2004. Exposure assessment of ESBO from jar lids using the CSL stochastic model with industry input on package and food selections. SEFEL-Food Contact Commission FCC223/04Google Scholar
  17. Simoneau, C.; Theobald, A.; Wiltschko, D.; Anklam, E., 1999. Estimation of intake of BADGE from canned fish consumption in Europe and migration survey. Food Additives and Contaminants16 (11), 457–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. WHO, 1997. Guidelines for Predicting Dietary Intake of Pesticide Residues. Document WHO/ FSF/FOS/97.7. World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  19. Vose, D., 2000. Risk Analysis: A Quantitative Guide. Wiley, West Sussex.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria de Fátima Poças
    • 1
  • Timothy Hogg
  1. 1.Packaging Department — College of BiotechnologyCatholic University of Portugal, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de AlmeidaPortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations