US State of Maine Publishes Draft List of Food Contact Chemicals of High Concern

The US state of Maine’s Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) has published a draft list of food contact chemicals of high

The state approved LD 1433 to reduce toxic chemicals
in food packaging in June 2019. It contained various provisions, including:

  • Prohibition on
    phthalates in food packaging (including plastic service gloves)
  • Authorization to the
    DEP to prohibit perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in food
    packages by rule, subject to the availability of safer alternatives
  • Direction to DEP to
    publish a list of no more than ten food contact chemicals of high concern
  • Authorization to the Commissioner
    of Environmental Protection (CEP) to designate an FCCHC as a priority food
    contact chemical (PFCC) for reporting purposes

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The DEP has now announced its draft FCCHC criteria for
public comment. The list includes:

  1. Bisphenol A (BPA), Bisphenol B (BPB), Bisphenol S (BPS), Bisphenol F (BPF)
    – reportable as one group of substances
  2. 4-Octylphenol
  3. Octamethyl cyclotetrasiloxane
  4. Toluene
  5. Styrene
  6. Benzene
  7. Methylenedianiline
  8. Methyl paraben, Ethyl paraben, Propyl paraben, Butyl paraben – as one
    chemical family
  9. Benzophenone
  10. Nonylphenol

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The draft document states that the DEP may elevate an
FCCHC to priority status if it meets certain criteria. Manufacturers and
distributors of food packaging containing a chemical on the PFCC list, in a
concentration greater than the de minimis level, must disclose this
information to the DEP within 180 days.

The law defines ‘de minimis level’ as:

  • For an FCCHC or a
    PFCC that is an intentionally added chemical in a food package, the practical
    quantification limit (PQL), or
  • For an FCCHC or a
    PFCC that is a contaminant present in a food package, a concentration of 100

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Comments on the draft were accepted by the DEP until
March 10, 2021.

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