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An article published in Food Packaging and Health discusses the migration of phthalates into food from food packaging.
Phthalates are common plasticizers used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are also present in some types of food packaging, from which they can migrate into food. For some phthalates food is estimated to be the main exposure route, and food contact materials are likely a relevant source. Phthalates are legally used in food packaging, but their use is restricted in the EU.
From the article: “Exposure to phthalates is of concern, because these substances are linked to reduced fertility, reproductive toxicity and testicular toxicity in animal studies. In people, increased levels of phthalates are associated with adverse health effects, for example obesity and reduced masculinization in newborn boys. For certain phthalates (DEHP, DBP and DIBP) food is thought to be the main exposure source. Increased phthalates levels in people were found to be associated with the consumption of specific food groups, especially fatty foods since phthalates are lipophilic.
“Other phthalate sources were single-use plastic gloves (for catering), conveyor belts, and plastic tubes for liquid foodstuffs (like milk).”