Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

USA: Maine publishes food contact chemicals of high concern


In December 2021, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published the list of food contact chemicals of high concern (FCCHC)1 under the Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging law. Manufacturers or distributors must report the use to the Department within 180 days if food packages contain any listed chemical(s) in an amount greater than the de minimis. 

"Food package" is defined as a package that is designed for direct food contact which includes, but is not limited to, a food or beverage product that is contained in a food package or to which a food package is applied, a packaging component of a food package and plastic disposable gloves used in commercial or institutional food service. 

The ten (10) substances on the list are: 

1. Bisphenol structure:

  • bisphenol A (CAS 80-05-7) 
  • bisphenol B (CAS 77-40-7)
  • bisphenol S (CAS 80-09-1) 
  • bisphenol F (CAS 620-92-8)

2. 4-Octyl phenol (CAS 1806-26-4)

3. Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) (CAS 556-67-2)

4. Toluene (CAS 108-88-3)

5. Styrene (CAS 100-42-5)Normal

6. Benzene (CAS 71-43-2)

7. Methylenedianiline (MDA) (CAS 101-77-9)

8. Paraben structure:

  • propyl paraben (CAS 94-13-3)
  • butyl paraben (CAS 94-26-8)
  • methyl paraben (CAS 99-76-3)
  • ethyl paraben (CAS 120-47-8)

9. Benzophenone (CAS 119-61-9)

10. Nonylphenol (CAS 25154-52-3)

Maine's Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging law2 was adopted in 2019 as an amendment to Reduction of Toxics in Packaging3. The Law aims to reduce the toxicity of packaging and packaging waste by prohibiting the unnecessary addition of certain chemicals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and phthalates, in packaging and packaging components. New sections of Law also require the DEP to finalise a list of no more than ten (10) FCCHC that meet the criteria for listing which helps to gather information on the current use of those chemicals in food packaging. 

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