Migration of surrogate contaminants in paper and paperboard into water through polyethylene coating layer

Jin Ok Choi, F. Jitsunari, F. Asakawa, Hyun Jin Park, Dong Sun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The migration of five surrogate contaminants, anthracene, benzophenone, dimethyl phthalate, methyl stearate and pentachlorophenol, from paper and paperboard into water through a polyethylene (PE) coating layer was investigated. Virgin paper and paperboard coated with PE films of 0.012 and 0.030 mm thickness were spiked evenly with standard 1-ml solutions containing 5 mg of each surrogate. The spiked papers were placed in contact with the PE coating layer at 10 and 24°C for 21 days. The resulting surrogate migration through the PE layer into 100ml water was measured by an analytical method developed here that used gas chromatography equipped with a flame ionization detector. Non-polar surrogates of anthracene and methyl stearate did not show any significant migration. In case of the thin layer coating of 0.012 mm, polar water-soluble contaminants of benzophenome, dimethyl phthalate and pentacholorophenol showed an equilibrated or maximized migration after 1 day, even at a refrigerated temperature of 10°C. A thick PE coating of 0.030 mm thickness delayed the progress of contaminant migration, which was also slower at lower temperature. Our results indicate that polyethylene coatings should not be seen as a complete barrier againts possible contaminants in paper packaging materials under chilled or ambient conditions. Several variables such as coating thickness, temperature and suspected contaminants need to be considered to control the possible contamination risk from recycled or printed paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1206
Number of pages7
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 1


  • Contaminant surrogates
  • GC-FID analysis
  • Migration
  • PE coating
  • Paper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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