Organotin compounds in food contact materials

  • Trier, Xenia (Project Manager)
  • Sloth, Jens Jørgen (Project Participant)
  • Larsen, Erik Huusfeldt (Project Participant)

Project Details


Organotin compounds (mono-, di- and tri- substituted compounds) in food contact materials have several uses, such as heat stabilizers for PVC and as catalysts in polyurethanes and in silicones. Another possible use could be as biocide agents in both plastics and wood. During processing and storage, they can decompose into other known and unknown Sn containing substances. As they are loosely bound to the food contact material, they are at high risk of migrating upon contact with foods. Organotin compounds are generally very toxic and act as endocrine disruptors and exert immunotoxic effects.
Recently (2005), the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) issued a toxicological evaluation of organotin compounds and suggested a tolerable daily intake (TDI) as low as 0.25 µg/kg bodyweight for the sum of four organotin compounds (TBT, DBT, TPT and DOT), corresponding to a specific migration limit (SML) of 6 µg/kg.
Research at DFVF focus on developing the first organotin multimethod capable of meeting the new limits in plastics (PVC and aliphatic polyurethanes) and in silicone, which is performed by GC-ICPMS. The project includes a screening and identification of reaction and degradation products that have not formerly been reported. The data from enforcement surveys are used to assess human exposure via food contact materials and are compared with present recommendations for tolerable intake.
Effective start/end date01/01/200601/01/2008


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