Deal ends use of PFAS-laden agent in paper food packaging

By Ellie Borst | 02/28/2024 04:02 PM EST

The move “eliminates the primary source of dietary exposure to PFAS from authorized food contact uses,” the FDA said in a news release.

Food and PFAS photo collage

For a half-century, grease-resistant coating had been applied to food packaging, but the Food and Drug Administration announced a voluntary agreement with manufacturers to end production of substances that contained "forever chemicals." Claudine Hellmuth/E&E News (illustration); Freepik (popcorn, popcorn label, burger, fries); FDA/Flickr (logo and seal); Public Records (text and documents)

The Food and Drug Administration announced that all paper and paperboard food packaging are now free of grease-proofing substances that contained some of the most dangerous “forever chemicals.”

It comes nearly four years after the FDA asked companies to participate in a voluntary market phase-out of these substances after regulators detected multiple per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
nearly four years after

Wednesday’s announcement marks the completion of the manufacturers volunteering to end production of grease-proofing substances that contained components of 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH), a widespread member of the PFAS family linked to liver damage, reproductive issues, kidney disease, neurological damage and other adverse health effects.


The grease-proofing substances were applied to take-out containers, fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, and other paper or paperboard products to make them more resistant to grease, oil or water leaks.