Fluorochemical-free grease resistant paper launched

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United states environmental protection agency

Boise Paper launched its first fluorochemical-free oil and grease
resistant (OGR) paper this week, following growing consumer
concerns over the health risks associated with the group of
chemicals.

Boise claims its EcoOGR paper offers food packagers the same performance as conventional treated products, but without the health risks linked to fluorochemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushed manufacturers earlier this year to reduce the chemical's presence in products by 95 per cent no later than 2010, and completely by 2015.

Fluorochemicals are used in non-stick and OGR food packaging linings, such those incorporated into pizza boxes and confectionary. The chemcials are known to rub off and migrate into foods.

Once ingested, the chemicals can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, a related chemical used in the making of Teflon-coated cookware.

PFOA has been linked to serious health risks, including birth defects, cancer, developmental problems and high cholesterol, a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

The US firm claims it is the only paper company focused on manufacturing OGR papers entirely without fluorochemicals, while meeting the Food and Drug Administration's standards for food packaging.

" Consumers are increasingly concerned about the presence of fluorochemicals in their food packaging, This is a big issue for the food service industry and we are solving the problem by delivering EcoOGR, a product that is competitively priced and functionally equivalent - if not better - than the current products,"​ said Miles Hewitt, senior vice president at Boise Paper.

Concerns over the potential risks associated with the chemcials were heightened last year when DuPont was accused of failing to act on warnings that packaged food was being contaminated with dangerous levels of fluorochemicals found in its OGR product. DuPont denied the claims.

However, despite community groups calls to ban the use of the chemical, scientific studies have so far not shown PFOA to pose a risk to human health.

PFOA is currently under investigation by the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

At the present time, EPA does not believe there is any reason for consumers to stop using any consumer or industrial related products because of concerns about PFOA.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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