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      Risk to human health related to the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances in food

      research-article
      EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (EFSA CONTAM Panel) , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
      EFSA Journal
      John Wiley and Sons Inc.
      PFAS, food, exposure, mixtures, immune system, PBPK, risk assessment

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          Abstract

          The European Commission asked EFSA for a scientific evaluation on the risks to human health related to the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances ( PFASs) in food. Based on several similar effects in animals, toxicokinetics and observed concentrations in human blood, the CONTAM Panel decided to perform the assessment for the sum of four PFASs: PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS and PFOS. These made up half of the lower bound ( LB) exposure to those PFASs with available occurrence data, the remaining contribution being primarily from PFASs with short half‐lives. Equal potencies were assumed for the four PFASs included in the assessment. The mean LB exposure in adolescents and adult age groups ranged from 3 to 22, the 95th percentile from 9 to 70 ng/kg body weight (bw) per week. Toddlers and ‘other children’ showed a twofold higher exposure. Upper bound exposure was 4‐ to 49‐fold higher than LB levels, but the latter were considered more reliable. ‘Fish meat’, ‘Fruit and fruit products’ and ‘Eggs and egg products’ contributed most to the exposure. Based on available studies in animals and humans, effects on the immune system were considered the most critical for the risk assessment. From a human study, a lowest BMDL 10 of 17.5 ng/ mL for the sum of the four PFASs in serum was identified for 1‐year‐old children. Using PBPK modelling, this serum level of 17.5 ng/ mL in children was estimated to correspond to long‐term maternal exposure of 0.63 ng/kg bw per day. Since accumulation over time is important, a tolerable weekly intake ( TWI) of 4.4 ng/kg bw per week was established. This TWI also protects against other potential adverse effects observed in humans. Based on the estimated LB exposure, but also reported serum levels, the CONTAM Panel concluded that parts of the European population exceed this TWI, which is of concern.

          Abstract

          This publication is linked to the following EFSA Supporting Publications article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/sp.efsa.2020.EN-1931/full

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          Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment: Terminology, Classification, and Origins

          The primary aim of this article is to provide an overview of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) detected in the environment, wildlife, and humans, and recommend clear, specific, and descriptive terminology, names, and acronyms for PFASs. The overarching objective is to unify and harmonize communication on PFASs by offering terminology for use by the global scientific, regulatory, and industrial communities. A particular emphasis is placed on long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, substances related to the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, and substances intended as alternatives to the use of the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids or their precursors. First, we define PFASs, classify them into various families, and recommend a pragmatic set of common names and acronyms for both the families and their individual members. Terminology related to fluorinated polymers is an important aspect of our classification. Second, we provide a brief description of the 2 main production processes, electrochemical fluorination and telomerization, used for introducing perfluoroalkyl moieties into organic compounds, and we specify the types of byproducts (isomers and homologues) likely to arise in these processes. Third, we show how the principal families of PFASs are interrelated as industrial, environmental, or metabolic precursors or transformation products of one another. We pay particular attention to those PFASs that have the potential to be converted, by abiotic or biotic environmental processes or by human metabolism, into long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic or sulfonic acids, which are currently the focus of regulatory action. The Supplemental Data lists 42 families and subfamilies of PFASs and 268 selected individual compounds, providing recommended names and acronyms, and structural formulas, as well as Chemical Abstracts Service registry numbers. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2011;7:513–541. © 2011 SETAC
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            Sources, fate and transport of perfluorocarboxylates.

            This review describes the sources, fate, and transport of perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) in the environment, with a specific focus on perfluorooctanoate (PFO). The global historical industry-wide emissions of total PFCAs from direct (manufacture, use, consumer products) and indirect (PFCA impurities and/or precursors) sources were estimated to be 3200-7300 tonnes. It was estimated that the majority (approximately 80%) of PFCAs have been released to the environment from fluoropolymer manufacture and use. Although indirect sources were estimated to be much less importantthan direct sources, there were larger uncertainties associated with the calculations for indirect sources. The physical-chemical properties of PFO (negligible vapor pressure, high solubility in water, and moderate sorption to solids) suggested that PFO would accumulate in surface waters. Estimated mass inventories of PFO in various environmental compartments confirmed that surface waters, especially oceans, contain the majority of PFO. The only environmental sinks for PFO were identified to be sediment burial and transport to the deep oceans, implying a long environmental residence time. Transport pathways for PFCAs in the environment were reviewed, and it was concluded that, in addition to atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors, atmospheric and ocean water transport of the PFCAs themselves could significantly contribute to their long-range transport. It was estimated that 2-12 tonnes/ year of PFO are transported to the Artic by oceanic transport, which is greater than the amount estimated to result from atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors.
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              A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)?

              More than 3000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are, or have been, on the global market, yet most research and regulation continues to focus on a limited selection of rather well-known long-chain PFASs, particularly perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their precursors. Continuing to overlook the vast majority of other PFASs is a major concern for society. We provide recommendations for how to proceed with research and cooperation to tackle the vast number of PFASs on the market and in the environment.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                contam@efsa.europa.eu
                Journal
                EFSA J
                EFSA J
                10.1002/(ISSN)1831-4732
                EFS2
                EFSA Journal
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                1831-4732
                17 September 2020
                September 2020
                : 18
                : 9 ( doiID: 10.1002/efs2.v18.9 )
                : e06223
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence: contam@ 123456efsa.europa.eu
                [†]

                Sandra Ceccatelli was a member of the Working Group until 7 April 2018.

                Article
                EFS26223
                10.2903/j.efsa.2020.6223
                7507523
                32994824
                facaedb0-3c26-48c3-b9b3-4887fab11062
                © 2020 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/ License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                History
                Page count
                Figures: 26, Tables: 70, Pages: 391, Words: 211604
                Categories
                Scientific Opinion
                Scientific Opinion
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                September 2020
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.9.1 mode:remove_FC converted:22.09.2020

                pfas,food,exposure,mixtures,immune system,pbpk,risk assessment
                pfas, food, exposure, mixtures, immune system, pbpk, risk assessment

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