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Identification and quantification of the migration of chemicals from plastic baby bottles used as substitutes for polycarbonate. The results of a study on the analytical identification and quantification of migration of chemicals from plastics baby bottles found in the European Union market made of materials that are now present as substitutes for polycarbonate (PC) are reported. A total of 449 baby bottles with a focus on first age or sets of bottles were purchased from 26 European Union countries, Canada, Switzerland and the USA. From this collection, which contained several duplicates, a total of 277 baby bottles were analysed. The materials included different types of plastic such as PC, polyamide (PA), polyethersulphone (PES), polypropylene (PP), but also silicone, and from the United States a co-polyester marketed under the trade name Tritan™. The bottles were subjected to the conventional migration test for hot fill conditions, i.e. 2 h at 70°C. The simulant used was that specified in European Union legislation (2007/19/EC) for milk, i.e. 50% ethanol. In a first phase 1, migration was conducted since the scope of this investigation was a screening rather than a true compliance testing check. Second and third migrations were performed on selected articles when migrated substances exceeded limits specified in the legislation. In order to verify some materials, a portion of the bottle was cut to run an FT-IR fingerprint to confirm the nature of the polymer. The migration solutions in general showed a low release of substances. Results showed that bottles made of PP and silicones showed a greater number of substances in the migration solutions and in greater quantity. Chemicals from PP included alkanes, which could be found in >65% of the bottles at levels up to 3500 µg kg⁻¹; and benzene derivatives in 17% of the baby bottles and found at levels up to 113 µg kg⁻¹. Some substances were found on a regular basis such as plasticisers, esters and antioxidants (e.g. tris(2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl)phosphate, known as Irgafos 168. Some substances found were not included in the Community positive list, which means that those should not be found even in the first migration. Such substances included 2,6-di-isopropylnaphthalene (DIPN), found in 4% of the bottles at levels up to 25 µg kg⁻¹, 2,4-di-tert-butyl phenol (in 90% of the bottles at levels up 400 µg kg⁻¹). Moreover, bisphenol A (BPA) was detected and quantified in baby bottles made of PA, but limited to one brand and model specific (but labelled BPA free). Results for baby bottles made of silicone also indicated the presence of components, e.g. potentially coming from inks (benzophenone, diisopropyl naphtahalene - DIPN, which could come for example from the presence of instruction leaflets in the bottles). In the case of silicone, phthalates were also found in relevant concentrations, with levels for DiBP and DBP from the first migration test of 50-150 µg kg⁻¹ and DEHP at levels 25-50 µg kg⁻¹.

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