The approach used to obtain European Union-wide data on the usage and concentration of substances in different food packaging materials is described.
Statistics were collected on pack sizes and market shares for the different materials used to package different food groups. The packaging materials covered were plastics (both flexible and rigid), metal containers, light metal packaging, paper and board, as well as the adhesives and inks used on them. An explanation as to how these data are linked in various ways in the FACET exposure modelling tool is given as well as an overview of the software along with examples of the intermediate tables of data. The example of bisphenol A (BPA), used in resins that may be incorporated into some coatings for canned foodstuffs, is used to illustrate how the data in FACET are combined to produce concentration distributions. Such concentration distributions are then linked probabilistically to the amounts of each food item consumed, as recorded in national food consumption survey diaries, in order to estimate exposure to packaging migrants.
Estimates of exposure are at the level of the individual consumer and thus can be expressed for various percentiles of different populations and subpopulations covered by the national dietary surveys.