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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Database of Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Reviews

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Zinc hydrosulfite (packaging)

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Report No.:  63
Type of Conclusion:  1
ID Code:  7779-86-4
Year:  1975
CFR Section:  There is no CFR citation.
SCOGS Opinion:  Information on the toxicity of sodium hydrosulfite is extremely limited. Nevertheless, the available data indicate that the oral administration of up to 1g of the sodium salt per kg body weight does not cause significant harm in dogs, and the intravenous injection of 25 to 50mg per kg has resulted in no apparent ill effects in rats. These doses are many orders of magnitude greater than those that could result from the consumption of foods packaged in sodium hydrosulfite-containing paper and paperboard packaging materials. Because zinc compounds, such as the carbonate and sulfate do not elicit adverse effects when administered orally to experimental animals at levels of 50mg per kg., and sodium hydrosulfite is without apparent adverse effects at equivalent levels it is reasonable to conclude that zinc hydrosulfite would react similarly. In the light of these considerations, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on sodium hydrosulfite and zinc hydrosulfite that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used in food packaging materials as now practiced or as they might reasonably be expected to be used for such purposes in the future.