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CONSTRUCTION. PLASTIC PRODUCTS. PHARMA. BIOENERGY. SURFACE TECHNOLOGY. CERTIFICATION. Locations & Scope of Work. Location 1110 Vienna, Brehmstraße. Packaging Pharma & Medical Devices Bio energy Food & Feed analysis. starting summer 2010: New location at TFZ Wr. Neustadt.

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locations scope of work
Locations & Scope of Work

Location 1110 Vienna, Brehmstraße

PackagingPharma & Medical Devices Bio energyFood & Feed analysis

starting summer 2010:

New locationat TFZ Wr. Neustadt

Location 1030 Vienna, Arsenal

Applied Polymer TechnologySurface TechnologyBuilding & ConstructionSports technology

our focus
Our Focus

Polymer TechnologyProcessing & application of polymers,elastomers, paints, coatings and adhesives

Building & ConstructionBuilding materials, structural monitoring, dehumidification of masonry, sports technology

Pharma & PackagingTrace analysis, stability studies,packaging development; food & feed analysis

Biomass fuelsManufacturing method, quality assurance,plant design


What can you expect?

  • Current discussion
  • Definition – what are EDCs?
  • Assay methods and first results
  • What can we do?
studies on bpa
Studies on BPA

NTP (NIH) USA 09/2008: At current exposure of the U.S. population:

Developmental toxicity to fetuses / infants : „some concern for adverse effects (brain, behavior, prostate)“

Federal Office of Public Health (Switzerland) (2009): „No risk to consumers“

Problem of evasion to other / worse characterized ingredients

Statement of the Endocrine Society 06/2009: „EDCs are a significant concern to public health“

Statement of the BfR 10/2009: „No health risk. No risk to infants and young children.“

actual situation
Actual situation

EDCs in contact with food – plastic, paper, laminates, coated metal cans...

Effects of EDCs in packaging :

Potential danger (but not proven)

Currently concentration on a few substances

Large number of potential EDCs in packaging

Need for action:

Analysis (Bioanalytsis; chemical analysis)

Toxicological studies

There are no comprehensive studies on EDCs in packaging

Reduction of the EDC burden of packaging


Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs)



Exogenous substances that act like hormones and disrupt the physiologic function of the endocrine system

European comission

Exogenous substances that act like hormones, disrupt the physiologic function of the endocrine system and cause adverse health effects.


Effects on the environment

Change of sex organs

Purple snail (TBT)

Alligators (DDT, Dicofol)

Accumulation during food chain

Example. PCB:

Polar bear: 3 billion times the concentration originally found in water


EDCs in plastic

Monomers, stabilizers, plasticizers, antioxidants,

contaminants ...

Bisphenol A

Alkylphenols (Nonylphenol)


Problem: migration out of the plastic into the food


Act like the primary female sex hormone estrogen

Estrogen is involved in the regulation of many sensitive developing steps and metabolism functions in both men and women

A disfunction of these mechanisms can cause reproductive problems, developmental disorders or cancer

german study high estrogenic activity in mineral water
German study: high estrogenic activity in mineral water

Authors assume that plastic

bottles are the source

BUT: other reasons possible

Highly contraversal study

Direct analysis of the plastic bottles necessary (PET-Bottle, screw cap)

selection of bioassays
Selection of bioassays

Yeast-Bioassays (YES / YAS)

Aspergillus Screen (highly sensitive reportersystem)

Cell cultures (breast cancer-, prostate cancer celllines) – E-Screen

Reproductiontests with Potamopyrgus antipodarum




Reporter gene assays:

  • YES – Yeast Estrogen Screen (2 different strains)
  • Aspergillus nidulans - Bioassay


  • Cloned gene for human estrogen receptor
  • Binding of estrogen or endocrine disruptor (e.g. plastic additive) activates receptor
  • Expression of ß-Galaktosidase
  • Conversion of CPRG (yellow) => CPR (red)
  • Photometric measurement

Extraction vs. migration

Total extraction

  • ASE – Accelerated Solvent Extraction

Food simulants

  • Water
  • 3% Acetic acid
  • 50% Ethanol
  • Isooctane

17ß-Estradiol standard curve

Limit of detection: 10 pM

Limit of quantification: 20 pM

first results
First results

*EEQ… 17ß-estradiolequivalent


Positive HDPE-sample:

Bisphenol A:ca. 20 - 40 µg / g sample

Benzylbutylphthalat:ca. 200 - 400 µg / g sample


12 PET-bottles and PET-bottles preforms

4 PET-foils

13 screw caps

3 recycling flakes

 6 positive samples, relatively low activities


Estrogen active substances can be found in plastics

Low activity, but synthetical estrogens have a higher risk potential than natural estrogens

Experiments with food simulants: no activity found

In vitro - studies give no information on actual effects in humans

why bioassays
Why bioassays ?


Measurement of known and unknown substances

Integration of synergistic effects (mixing effects)

Evaluation of the complete package

Simple screening tool

Evaluation of toxicological effects possible

No direct hints on in vivo effects



False negative results possible

No conclusion about possible in vivo effects

only show: hormone binding to receptor

Technical problems (solubilities / extracting agents / food simulants ...)

No information of whichsubstances are causing the hormone activity

 Combination with chemical analytic

chemical analysis
Chemical Analysis

Chemical analysis

Development of testing methods for endocrine disruptors in packaging / food

Goal: Development of a multimethode for the 50 most frequent EDCs



next step e screen
Next step: E-screen
  • In-vitro bioassay
  • Human breast cancer cells (MCF 7 cells)
  • No genetical modification
  • Reproduction of the cancer cell line dependents on estrogens
  • Reproduction of the cells (proliferation) is determined in comparison to a negative control and to estrogenstandards
  • high sensitivity (ca. 1 pmol/l)

COINprogram line „structure"

Funding authority: FFG on behalf of bmvit and BMWFJ

Dimension: national

Goals of the program

Development and improvement of key competences and functions

for providers of application-oriented F&E&I-expertise

particularly towards the KMU

Runtime: 01.09.2010 until 30.08.2014 (48 months)

Volume of the project: 1,8 Mio.€


Establishment of new bioanalytical methods

Characterization of the total hormone burden offood contact materials (plastics, coated metal packaging, paper)


Sensitivity, standardizationand high-throughput-analytic

Chemical detection for the 50 most importantEDCs in the ppb-range (preferable GC/MS)

advisory board
Advisory board

International Scientific Advisory Board


Food / Packaging analysts

Reference laboratory


Project Advisory Committee

Project partners (institutions)

Participating companies

partners participating companies
Partners / Participating Companies

The following companies already joined the project:

Plastics Europe Deutschland

Tetra Holdings GmbH


MAM Babyartikel GmbH

Verein für Konsumenteninformation (VKI)


Teich AG


SIG Combibloc

The following companies have expressed their interest:

Greiner Packaging



MM Karton

for any questions please contact
For any questions please contact:

- Hotline

DI Dr. Johannes Bergmair

(DW 976, E-Mail:

  • ofiResearch Institute
  • Brehmstraße 14A
  • 1110 Vienna
  • +43-(0)1-798 16 01 -DW
  • +43-(0)1-798 16 01- 480