Food contact materials (FCM) that are put on the market must be safe for human health. Only for plastic FCM a specific EU regulation exists, including a list of substances authorized for use as starting product. Many non-plastic FCM have not yet been evaluated for their safety, and might pose a potential health risk when they are present in food after migration. An improved risk assessment process, especially for non-plastic FCM, is needed to ensure protection of human healthSwitch to plain text editor.
Safety assessment of non-evaluated food contact material (FCM) substances is hampered by the lack of a legislative framework and clear guidance. A fast evaluation of such substances is challenging, especially when only limited toxicological data are available. Specific guidance on how to collect toxicological information for these substances is lacking. Moreover the endocrine disrupting potential is currently not directly addressed. In silico models have the potential to fill gaps in toxicological knowledge. Within this context, the current project aims to provide an answer to the overall research question: Can in silico tools be applied to support the risk assessment process for non-evaluated FCM substances?
The proposed research allows to rapidly evaluate the human health risks associated with the migration of non-evaluated FCM compounds in a cheap and animal-free manner. To this extent, a (semi-) automated workflow based on (quantitative) structure activity relationship models and the collection of existing toxicological knowledge is developed. Four different case studies with non-evaluated FCM substances (non-plastic FCM and non-intentionally added substances) are performed to evaluate the practical applicability of the developed workflow. Overall, the project provides further insights on how in silico models for different endpoints can be used to support the risk assessment of non-evaluated substances migrating from FCM, but also for non-evaluated substances in general.