The problems raised for more than half a decade by the presence of mineral oil based residues in food packaging materials has also created a number of questions regarding the use of mineral hydrocarbon waxes in adhesives. Hydrocarbon waxes are listed in the Plastics Regulation, but in case of the Low Melting Paraffin Waxes (FCM 93) they are associated with an SML of 0.05 mg/kg, causing practical problems during migration testing and creating the perception of a substance with a toxicological concern.
The recent publication of EFSA External Scientific Report EN-1090: “Bioaccumulation and toxicity of mineral oil hydrocarbons in rats –specificity of different subclasses of a broad mixture relevant for human dietary exposures,” provided significant new information that has a direct impact on understanding better the situation of the Low Melting Hydrocarbon Waxes. Combined with an in depth review of all other data concerning the biological effects of these substances, generated over the last 20 years, this allows the building of a robust scientific case supporting a petition for a new and higher SML.
During the presentation, after an introduction describing the composition and manufacturing of hydrocarbon waxes, both old and new scientific evidence will be summarized and the path forward as envisaged by the mineral hydrocarbon wax manufacturers will be explained.