The aim of ESR10’s project is to compare the toxicity of chemicals leaching from conventional polymers to that of new biodegradable polymers, which are increasingly marketed as safe and sustainable alternatives in consumer products, including food packaging. The ESR will identify relevant bio- based and -degradable polymers on the market, and simulate the leaching of chemicals. The samples will be analysed using a battery of in vitro bioassays covering diverse toxicological endpoints. To get a more realistic picture on (bio)plastic products as source of human exposure to chemicals, ESR10 will perform migration testing using more realistic conditions. Together, these results will be used to determine if biodegradable polymers are safer than conventional ones in terms of leaching chemicals. In a green chemistry approach, ESR10 will collaborate with UBT to test their new polymers in vitro and thus guide the polymer development towards materials that do not leach toxic chemicals.

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