Part.3 - How the EU ensures the safety of plastics


The weight of evidence is critical for decision making

Evaluating the safety of a substance takes a lot of time and resources: European authorities base their opinions on the entire scientific data available up-to-date, sometimes among thousands of different epidemiological, exploratory and regulatory studies!

Authorities systematically filter and rank all these studies depending on:

  • Their quality vs. official laboratory requirements,
  • Their reproducibility,
  • Their relevance for human health,
  • How their results contradict or fit with all the other available studies…

This process is called the weight of evidence approach.

For specific uses, like food contact materials, if a substance is evaluated as safe, authorities may authorise it, under specific terms and conditions. That is until it is re-evaluated, taking into account the most recent data available.