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BfR Deletes Anthraquinone in BfR Recommendations XXXVI and XXXVI/2 for Paper and Cardboard
In 2012 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded in a reasoned opinion that a carconigenic effect of Anthraquinone cannot be ruled out. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies Anthraquinone as a possible carcinogen, too. On the basis of these data, on 12.02.2013 the BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) has published an opinion which retracted the recommendation to use Anthraquinone in the production of paper.

In the past, Anthraquinone served as separation catalyst of lignin and cellulose during the production process of cellulose fibres. According to BfR recommendations XXXVI and XXXVI/2 use of Anthraquinone was allowed in the production of paper with up to 0.15 % in relation to the final paper. However, dry paper should not contain more than 30 mg/kg Anthraquinone.

According to EU regulation 396/2005 a European maximum limit of 0.01 mg/kg Anthraquinone in food is issued. Assessments of the BfR show that application of Anthraquinone in paper may lead to a migration into food so that this maximum limit may be exceeded in the ready packed food.

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Find the opinion of BfR on Anthraquinone here