Comparative analysis of the toxicological databases for 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)

By Penelope A Rice, Jason Aungst, Jessica Cooper, Omari Bandele, and Shruti V Kabadi
Food Chem. Toxicol.
February 25, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111210

6:2 Fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) is a short-chain polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) in polymeric PFAS used in fast food packaging and stain- and water-resistant textiles and may be degradation products of some components of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF). The general population is exposed to 6:2 FTOH by inhalation of evaporates from treated surfaces or ambient concentrations in air, ingestion of indoor dust, or ingestion of food packaged in materials containing PFAS. Although exposure to 6:2 FTOH is pervasive, little is known concerning human health effects of this compound. Some published risk assessments have assumed that perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), a metabolite of 6:2 FTOH, adequately models the human health effects of 6:2 FTOH. Recently identified studies conducted with 6:2 FTOH and its metabolite, 5:3 acid, have provided information that enables comparison of the toxicological profiles of PFHxA and 6:2 FTOH. This article summarizes a comparative analysis of the toxicological effects of PFHxA and 6:2 FTOH in rodents to determine whether data for PFHxA adequately models potential hazards of 6:2 FTOH exposure. Our analysis demonstrates that 6:2 FTOH is significantly more toxic than PFHxA. Use of toxicological studies conducted with PFHxA to assess 6:2 FTOH exposure may significantly underestimate human health risk.

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