Chemicals list
Daan van Hal avatar
Written by Daan van Hal
Updated over a week ago

When creating a footprint calculation, the used material often accounts for the largest part of the footprint. The majority of the used materials are often know throughout the value chain. But there is an important exception for chemicals. These are often used to increase the properties of the packaging like; preservation, protection, barriers, adhesion or aesthetics. Even in very small quantities, chemicals can have a major impact on the footprint throughout the lifecycle of a product as shown below.

Disclosed Chemicals

Since chemicals are not often disclosed by manufacturers due to IP or other reasons, we help resellers to ask for specific chemicals that are often used in packaging. The list below is an ongoing process and we will keep on updating it.

Please ask your supplier if any of the substances below are used, especially if you are selling food packaging. And let us know when used, so we can help you on creating the right footprint.

Please find more information regarding Food Contact Materials on:

Chemical list (indefinite)

1. Bisphenols

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate, a hard, clear plastic, which is used in many consumer products. BPA is also found in epoxy resins, which act as a protective lining on the inside of some metal-based food and beverage cans. Uses of all substances that migrate from packaging into food, including BPA, are subject to premarket approval by FDA as indirect food additives or food contact substances.

Examples of Bisphenols in packaging are:

  • Bisphenol A [CAS 80-05-7]

  • Bisphenol S [CAS: 80-09-1]

  • BADGE [CAS: 1675-54-3]

  • Bisphenol A epichlorohydrin [CAS: 25085-99-8]

  • Bisphenol A epoxy diacrylate [CAS: 55818-57-0]

  • BFDGE = bisphenol F diglycidyl ether [CAS: 71289]

  • NOGE novolac glycidyl ethers [Several]

2. Per - and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)

PFAS have been used in paper and board food packaging since the 1950s mostly as

coatings to prevent the paper material from soaking up fats and water, but also in

printing inks and as moisture barriers. The applications particularly target fatty foods,

especially those intended to be heated in packaging or stored for an extended period.

Examples include fast food paper such as for French fries and hamburgers, microwave

popcorn bags, baking paper, baking cups and moulds, sandwich and butter paper,

chocolate paper, and paper for dry foods and pet foods.

Examples of PFAS in packaging are:

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA [CAS: 335-67-1]

  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) [CAS: 1763-23-1]

  • Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA) [CAS: 13252-13-6]

3. Other Per - and Polyfluoroalkyl substances as defined by OECD

OECD consideres substances as PFASs when containing a perfluoroalkyl moiety with three or more carbons (i.e. -CnF2n–, n ≥ 3) or a perfluoroalkylether moiety with two or more carbons (i.e.-CnF2nOCmF2m−, n and m ≥ 1) (OECD, 2018)

  • (Aliphatic) perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

  • Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs)

  • Perfluoroalkane sulfonyl fluorides (PASFs)

  • Perfluoroalkane sulfonamides (FASAs)

  • Perfluoroalkyl iodides (PFAIs)

  • Perfluoroalkyl aldehydes (PFALs) and aldehyde hydrates

  • (PFAL·H2Os)

  • Perfluoroalkanoyl fluorides (PAFs);

  • Perfluoroalkane sulfonamido derivatives;

  • Fluorotelomer (FT)-based compounds, incl. semifluorinated nalkanes (SFAs) and alkenes (SFAenes)

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl ether carboxylic acids (PFECAs)3

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are additives usually added to PVC for softening, therefore they are also known as plasticizers. However, they have also been found to migrate from non-PVC food contact materials (reviewed by Bach et al. 2012). Phthalate-based catalysts are also used in the production of polypropylene plastics (Kissin et al. 2008)

Another study in the UK showed various different types of retail food packaging materials were found to contain one or several phthalates of interest: a glass jar metal closure with PVC gasket, a plastic container (unidentified plastic) with foiled lidding, a paper/foil/plastic laminate (beverage carton), a foil lined pouch, and several plastic bags in carton boxes.

Examples of Phthalates in packaging are:

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) [CAS: 84-74-2]

  • Benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP) [CAS: 85-68-7]

  • Bis(2-ethyl- hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) [CAS: 117-81-7]

  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) [CAS: 84-69-5]

5. Heavy metals

  • Lead compounds

  • Arsenic compounds

  • Cadmium compounds

  • Hexavalent chromium

  • Mercury

6. Other

  • Ethylene oxide [CAS: 75-21-8]

  • Propylparaben [CAS: 94-13-3]

  • 4-tert- Butylphenol [CAS: 98-54-4]

  • Styrene [CAS: 100-42-5]

  • 1-Chloro-2,3- epoxypropane [CAS: 106-89-8]

  • 1,3-Dihydroxy- benzene [CAS: 108-46-3]

  • Benzophenone [CAS: 119-61-9]

  • Benzophenone- 3; Oxybenzone [CAS: 131-57-7]

  • Boric acid [CAS: 10043-35-3]

  • tert-Butyl- hydroxyanisole (BHA) [CAS: 25013-16-5]

  • 4,4'-Methylene- dianiline (MDA) [CAS: 101-77-9]

  • Tris(2-chloro- ethyl) phosphate (TCEP) [CAS: 115-96-8]

Inks and Pigments

1.Rhodamine-based (“Fanal”) pigments

  • Pigment Red 81 [CAS: 12224-98-5]

  • Pigment Red 81:1 [CAS: 80083-40-5]

  • Pigment Red 81:2 [CAS: 75627-12-2]

  • Pigment Red 81:3 [CAS: 68310-07-06]

  • Pigment Red 81:5 [CAS: 63022-06-0]

  • Pigment Red 169 [CAS: 12237-63-7]

  • Pigment Green 1 [CAS: 1325-75-3]

  • Pigment Blue 1 [CAS: 1325-87-7]

  • Pigment Blue 62 [CAS: 57485-98-0]

  • Pigment Violet 1 [CAS: 1326-03-0]

  • Pigment Violet 2 [CAS: 1326-04-01]

  • Pigment Violet 3 [CAS: 1325-82-2], [CAS: 67989-22-4]

  • Pigment Violet 27 [CAS: 12237-62-6]

  • Pigment Violet 39 [CAS: 64070-98-0]

2. Azo-Dyes

  • 3-hydroxy-2-naphthanilide [CAS: 92-77-3]

  • 2′,4′dimethylacetoacetanilideacetamide,N-(2-chloro-4-met

  • hylphenyl) [CAS: 97-36-9]

  • 3-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid [CAS: 2050-43-3]

  • Any under same category or similar [CAS: 92-70-6]

3. PhotoInitiators

  • Benzophenone [CAS: 134-84-9]

  • 2-Methyl benzophenone [CAS: 131-58-8]

  • 4-Methyl benzophenone [CAS: 119-61-9]

  • 2,4,6-trimethylbenzo phenone [CAS: 954-16-5]

  • 2-Isopropyl 9H- thioxanthen-9-one (2-ITX) [CAS: 83846-86-0]

  • 4-Isopropyl 9H- thioxanthen-9-one (4-ITX) [CAS: 5495-84-1]

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