A database of over 4,000 chemical substances potentially found in plastic packaging, has been made publicly available.
A research paper describing the work has been submitted to Science of the Total Environment, and is now available, prior to peer review, as a preprint. The database is provided with the preprint as supplementary information.
Additionally, the project team intends to add it the website of the Chemical Hazards Data Commons, but advises that it is a "work in progress" with many data gaps remaining. Interested parties will be able to discuss entries and add data on, for example, use and toxicity.
The team says that working with industry, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders is essential to fill knowledge and information gaps and enable chemical risk assessment based on "actual data". The information is vital for effective and efficient substitution of the most hazardous substances in plastic packaging, it says.
There are 148 substances ranked according to toxicity. The most hazardous substances for human health and the environment identified include 14 phthalates; additives often used as plasticisers in many different types of packaging.
The project was funded by a grant from the MAVA Foundation, a Swiss-based charitable body.
This story was amended on 25 July to clarify that the database has not yet been added to the Chemical Hazard Data Commons but is available as supplementary information to the published preprint.