J. de Boer
A. di Domenico
P. de Voogt
- Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food chain on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their salts
- EFSA Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) is the collective name for a vast group of fluorinated compounds, including oligomers and polymers, which consist of neutral and anionic surface active compounds with high thermal, chemical and biological inertness. Perfluorinated compounds are generally hydrophobic but also lipophobic and will therefore not accumulate in fatty tissues as is usually the case with other persistent halogenated compounds. An important subset is the (per)fluorinated organic surfactants, to which perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) belong.
The analytical detection method of choice for PFOS and PFOA is currently liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), whereas both LC-MS/MS and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) can be used for the determination of precursors of PFOS and PFOA. There are few reports of analysis of food items using these methods. Due to the substantial lack of suitable analytical data, many assumptions have been made in order to derive exposure estimates. Therefore, figures on levels in food and exposure provided in this opinion should be taken as indicative.
PFOS, PFOA and other perfluorinated organic compounds have been widely used in industrial and consumer applications including stain- and water-resistant coatings for fabrics and carpets, oil-resistant coatings for paper products approved for food contact, fire-fighting foams, mining and oil well surfactants, floor polishes, and insecticide formulations. A number of different perfluorinated organic compounds have been widely found in the environment.
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