Safety assessment of the substance Ln 1,4‐benzene dicarboxylic acid (with Ln = La, Eu, Gd, Tb) for use in food contact materials

Ln 1,4-benzene dicarboxylic acid, FCM substance No 1074, food contact materials, safetyassessment, Lanthanum, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium
First published in the EFSA Journal
7 November 2018
26 September 2018
Scientific Opinion


The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP Panel) assessed the safety of the additive Ln 1,4‐benzene dicarboxylic acid (with Ln = La, Eu, Gd, Tb) for use in food contact materials. It is a family of mixtures combining the four lanthanides lanthanum (La), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd) and/or terbium (Tb) in different proportions as their 1,4‐benzene dicarboxylate complexes, used as a taggant in plastics for authentication and traceability purposes. The powdered additive, not in nano form, is intended to be used at up to 100 mg/kg in polyethylene, polypropylene and polybutene. Materials and articles made of these plastics are intended for contact with all foods types at up to 4 h/100°C or for long‐term storage at ambient temperature. In tests with food simulants, migration of each Ln was below 5 μg/kg. The Panel considered that irrespective of the composition of the lanthanides, these would dissociate completely from the terephthalic acid salt under aqueous conditions. Evaluation of the genotoxicity studies provided on the individual complexes (La, Eu, Gd and Tb) and on their mixture, taken together with data available in the scientific literature, allows ruling out concern for genotoxicity. Consequently, the CEP Panel concluded that the substance Ln 1,4‐benzene dicarboxylic acid (with Ln = La, Eu, Gd, Tb) does not raise a safety concern for the consumer under the proposed conditions of use and if the migration of the sum of the four lanthanides in ionic form does not exceed 50 μg/kg food.

Panel members at the time of adoption

José Manuel Barat Baviera, Claudia Bolognesi, Beat Johannes Brüschweiler, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Riccardo Crebelli, David Michael Gott, Konrad Grob, Evgenia Lampi, Alicja Mortensen, Gilles Rivière, Vittorio Silano, Inger‐Lise Steffensen, Christina Tlustos, Henk Van Loveren, Laurence Vernis and Holger Zorn
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(11):5449
Question Number
On request from
French Competent Authority (Ministere de l’economie desfinances et de l’industrie)