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Danish investigation finds fluorinated substances in cake packaging
15 May 2018

Danish investigation finds fluorinated substances in cake packaging
But intentional use has decreased

Tests carried out in Denmark have found fluorinated substances in paper wrappings used in ready-made cakes.

The discovery comes after a national recommendation to avoid intentionally adding them to food contact materials three years ago.

In three out of 21 baking paper and other cake packaging materials examined, fluorinated substances were detected at such high levels it is "very likely" the substances were intentionally added, the Danish Consumer Council's 'Think Chemicals' initiative said.

There is no specific EU regulation to control harmful chemical substances in paper and board food packaging. But in 2015, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration introduced a recommendation for manufacturers not to add the substances intentionally to food packaging materials. It is, however, not legally binding.

Think Chemicals said while its tests did not measure the substances inside the cakes, other studies have shown they can migrate to the food and contribute to people's total exposure - the so-called cocktail effect.

A test in 2016 on cake wrappings had revealed intentional use of fluorinated substances. Think Chemicals said this year’s retest of the same wrappings indicated their use "has generally decreased".

Investigators found that four samples which contained the substances in 2016 no longer had them.

Last year, Danish tests using a new approach to detect harmful chemicals in FCMs made from paper and board found two phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) in pizza boxes.