The News about Carboys and Metal Cans are not Correct

We are sorry to see the news published in the press and some internet portals for the last few days about Bisphenol A (BPA) which is a substance that is used in the production of packages, including carboys and metal cans. Our association has decided to make the following explanation about this matter.

Recently, some news have been published in the press and some internet portals about bisphenol A (BPA) which is known to be the raw material of polycarbonate water bottles, known as 19 lt carboys, polycarbonate baby bottles and epoxy resins used as coating material for tin packaging.

These news are based on a report issued in Canada on April 18, 2008, mentioning that BPA may cause some health problems in case of ingestion and therefore it may be inconvenient to use polycarbonate in baby bottles. In this report, it is indicated that it may be harmful to heat up the baby food while inside the baby bottle which is a practice that may lead to the BPA content of the polycarbonate to migrate into the baby food as the temperature increases and a warning is made to bring restrictions to the related applications.

There is no such danger as mentioned above for carboys that are made of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is used in the manufacturing of reusable carboys everywhere in the world, including the USA, Canada and the EU countries because it is safe and economic.

In a comment published in July 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that it is not proven on scientific grounds that BPA causes health problems. It is next to zero possibility that BPA is ingested by human body when products made of polycarbonates such as bottles and baby bottles and epoxy coated metal cans are used; and trace amounts of BPA is discarded by human body within 24 hours. It has been reported by the American Food and Drug Administration and EFSA that such amounts of BPA do not lead to any health problems [1].

This summer the EU commission (European Chemicals Bureau) published its current BPA risk assessment with the conclusion that using BPA based materials including polycarbonate or epoxy resin does not pose risks for consumers or environment [2].

Furthermore, Canada Ministry of Health, as the source that these concerns have rooted from, has written a letter dated July 25, 2008 addressed to the Canadian Packed Water Manufacturers saying that there are no drawbacks in using polycarbonate for carboys or other food packaging and that the amount of BPA ingested by way of food packaging does not pose any health risks for babies and adults [3]. These letters are filed in our office. Anyone may obtain these letters upon request.

For purposes of food safety, food contact plastics must conform to the “Food Contact Plastic Substances and Materials Circular” in our Turkish Food Codex. Polycarbonate water bottles are produced by first obtaining manufacturing licence from the related unit of Turkish Republic Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Protection and Control General Directorate and then using proper raw materials that conform to the above mentioned regulation. Both the members of our Association and all other manufacturers that operate in packaging sector and follow the principles of working with records have always been absolutely careful in this respect. The carboys made by our members are regularly subjected to BPA migration analysis and total migration analysis. BPA migration analysis is done by keeping the carboy, full of water, under 40°C temperature for 10 days and then measuring the amount of water that has migrated from the carboy into the water. This value is measured below 0.005 mg/lt. The maximum BPA migration amount permitted by the European Union food packaging regulation no 2002/72/EC which is the basis of potable water regulation of the Ministry of Health is 0.6 mg/lt, 120 times as much as the measured value.

In the news that have recently been published by the domestic press, the numbers from 1 to 7, known as the packaging recycling code, indicate the type of plastic that the packaging was made of. It is absolutely wrong that this number indicates whether the packaging contains harmful chemicals or not.

There is not any consideration that poses health risks from the viewpoint of the World Health Organisation which is indeed very sensitive in this respect. None of the countries in the world makes warning that water in polycarbonate carboys is harmful for health.

We absolutely do not believe that it would be a correct and scientific comment to say that this packaging and all other plastic packaging made correctly by using proper raw materials whose features have been defined in regulations cause or may cause certain diseases.

Finally, our Association believes that there is a linear relation between “food safety” and “packaging” and “all other food contact materials”. We always recommend our people to use packaged food. If a packaging is produced correctly, it protects the quality of the product that it contains as long as food safety and hygiene chain remain intact. It minimises health problems and increases the level of prosperity in the society.

[1] EFSA’s Announcement: “European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) Reaffirms Safety of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Food-Contact Products”

[2] ECHA’s first list of possible chemicals classed as “of very high concern”

[3] Minister of Health and the Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

The News about Carboys and Metal Cans are not Correct