Trending Topics: This Week’s Chemicals of Concern: Triclosan, BPA & Hazardous Substances in Food Packaging

Trending Topics: This Week’s Chemicals of Concern: Triclosan, BPA & Hazardous Substances in Food Packaging image

Summer holiday note: Trending Topics is taking the rest of the summer off. Enjoy the warmth and we'll see you in September!


Cleaning hands but contaminating the Great Lakes image

A new report from the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and Clean Production Action (CPA) uses GreenScreen® to evaluate two antibacterial chemicals and concludes that triclosan is a high hazard chemical whose use should be avoided. An alternative antibacterial, triclocarban, is less hazardous overall than triclosan, but is a very high aquatic toxicant. According to the report, most of these chemicals used in soaps and other consumer products end up down the drain and in waterways, including the Great Lakes. Minnesota’s ban on consumer products containing triclosan goes into effect in 2017. Given their aquatic toxicity, CELA and CPA are recommending further bans on both triclosan and triclocarban. Could this dilemma have been averted if GreenScreen had been used before these products went on the market?

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New bill would ban BPA from food and beverage containers image

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Grace Meng (D-NY) have introduced the Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act to bar the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage containers nationwide in both reusable containers and food and beverage packaging. The bill has the support of 20 national labor unions and nearly three dozen health and environmental groups. More than a dozen states now have BPA restrictions in place and the FDA has discontinued its approval of BPA use in baby bottles. Big question: How to ensure that replacement chemicals and materials will be safe?

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Not just BPA: 175 chemicals of concern found in food packaging image

A new report from the Food Packaging Forum identifies 175 potentially hazardous substances used legally in food contact materials. According to the report, many of these substances  – chemicals used in food packaging or to produce those materials – are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic. Others are endocrine disrupters, and some are persistent and bioaccumulative. Most of these materials are plastics, highlighting the need for measuring chemicals of concern in plastics, especially when those plastics are intended to keep food safe and fresh.

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