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Health risk of ethylene oxide in food

FAQ of the BfR from 2 June 2022

Monitoring authorities of the federal states have detected residues of ethylene oxide and its conversion product 2-chloroethanol in various foods and food ingredients such as sesame seeds, spices or food additives. The use of ethylene oxide is prohibited in food production as the substance can have mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. The conversion product 2-chloroethanol was subject to a preliminary risk assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Due to large data gaps the risk for 2-chloroethanol was assessed to be comparable to that of ethylene oxide. The BfR has prepared questions and answers on possible health risks of ethylene oxide and 2-chloroethanol residues in food.



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Date Title Size
Updated BfR FAQ
Frequently asked questions about health risk of ethylene oxide in food 237.7 KB


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