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Total Content of Chemicals Testing in Packaging and Food Contact Materials

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Total Content

The Regulation on plastics in contact with food (EU) No. 10/2011 sets a maximum content for some substances which are very volatile like Butadiene, Acrylonitrile or Vinyl chloride or such substances which are instable in food simulants like aromatic diisocyanates. The vast majority of substances in food contact plastic packaging are restricted by the specific migration to food instead of the total content.

Total content of chemicals is mainly regulated in the areas of:

  • REACH require a labelling in case substances of very high concern (SVHC) are present in a material in concentrations > 0.1%
  • Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC restricts the amount of Lead, Cadmium, Chromium VI and Mercury to < 100 mg/kg in sum of all four species
  • Hazardous heavy metals Lead, Cadmium, Chromium VI and Mercury as well as flame retardants Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB) and Polybrominated Biphenyl ethers (PBDE) and four Phthalate plasticisers in waste electrical and electronic equipment.
  • REACH Annex XVII for Restricted Substances.
  • Additionally, at EU level, also Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 (recast) regulates total content of some chemicals.


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