Used more than 40 years in PET bottle, is EG safe for packaging?

Plastic bottle. (Source: Special)

Jakarta, IO – Public concern is rising over the use of Ethylene Glycol (EG) and Diethylene Glycol (DEG) compounds in cough syrup following the outbreak of acute kidney disease infection (AKI) in children in a number of countries, initially Gambia and now Indonesia.

The Health Ministry reported that 206 children have been diagnosed with AKI as of Tuesday (18/10), with 99 deaths (48 percent).

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has ordered the withdrawal of five brands of cough syrups indicated to contain EG in excess of the safe limit although the correlation between the two has yet been established.

However, many people have also linked the use of EG in cough syrup and as raw material in the production of mineral water bottles made of PET (Polyethylene terephthalate).

It is understood that PET bottles also use EG as an additive. According to a 2016 survey by Nielsen, the branded bottled drinking water market in Indonesia is controlled by Aqua (46.7 percent), which dwarfed Club (4 percent), Le Minerale (3 percent), 2 Tang (2.8 percent), Oasis (1.8 percent), Super O2 (1.7 percent) and Prima (1.4 percent).