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Content archived on 2024-04-16



The Commission is in the process of completing the Community law in the sector of plastic materials as laid down in the Framework Directive (89/109/EEC) relating to materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs. According to Directive 90/128/EEC a number of monomers and starting substances can be used for the preparation of plastic materials. The maximum quantity of these monomers and starting substances that can be released from the plastics materials into foodstuffs (SML), or may be present in the material as residual (QM), is established in the above Directive.
Verification of compliance with the migration limits shall be carried out in accordance with Directives 82/711/EEC, 85/572/EEC and 128/90/EEC, which concern the basic rules for testing migration, the list of simulants to be used for testing migration and establish the specific migration limits respectively.
According to the above Directives, CEN is about to complete methods for the measurement of migration of several monomers. However, methods for the determination of more than 40 monomers are urgently needed, and many more will be required when additives are considered under Directive 90/128/EEC. The objective of the project is to develop the basic methodology for determination of monomers with emphasis on multi-methods. These methods will be drafted as CEN norms, CEN taking responsibility for their validation. The project includes preparation of a handbook of analytical data.


The preparation of a handbook of spectral and physico-chemical data of monomers has been undertaken in conjunction with a bank of monomers and starting substances by the Food Science Laboratory, MAFF, Norwich, U.K..
Priorities for method development have been established in collaboration with other organisations and support to basic method development by Community laboratories is being arranged.


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Imperial Chemical Industries plc (ICI)
EU contribution
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Wilton Materials Research Centre
TS6 8JE Middlesbrough
United Kingdom

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Participants (20)