ECETOC, together with PlasticsEurope, EuPC and Cefic-LRI are organising the workshop “Advancing the science of exposure assessment of low molecular weight components in polymer matrices”. It’s a hybrid event which will take place on 31st May -1st June, 2022.
Current models and concepts for determination of migration of substances from plastics are based upon the Piringer model1 and are enshrined in food contact legislation. Recent advances in model development have shown that the Piringer model describes steady-state conditions well but that diffusion within the plastic (polymer) limits migration under most realistic use and exposure conditions which are not at steady-state. This new exposure science may provide an opportunity to advance both human health and environmental exposure and risk assessments from a wide range of structural matrices including polymers, micro and macro-plastics, metals and alloys.
Regulation of polymers under REACH is imminent and requires the development of a Technical Guidance Document (TGD) on the exposure assessment of low molecular weight components from solid, insoluble polymers. In addition, food contact regulations and associated TGD relating to repeated use and short contact conditions require updating to reflect recent scientific developments. Furthermore, greater understanding of exposure from macro- and micro-plastics is urgently needed to inform on the risk assessment of these materials and reduce societal concerns.
The main goals of this event are:
- Recognise the state of the science on experimental and computational exposure modelling of the release of Low Molecular Weight Compounds (LMWC) from polymers.
- Share cross-sector expertise on available models/methods and recent developments for exposure assessment of low molecular weight components in polymer matrices, for human health and environmental risk assessments.
- Identify areas of research and development and how to best progress.
As part of the programme, the main outcomes of the ongoing Cefic-LRI project ECO58, will be presented regarding the release of polymer additives and the impact on human body, regarding micro- and nano-plastics. The potential occurrence of plastics in natural waters is a consequence of vast and increasing utilization of synthetic polymers in commercial, industrial, and consumer applications. This project aims at creating a robust and generalizable model to predict the magnitude and speed of the polymer additives release, and their availability in the human body.