Dietary exposure to perfluoroalkyl acids, brominated flame retardants and health risk assessment in the French infant total diet study

By Gilles Rivière, Julien Jean, Sébastien Gorecki, Marion Hulin, Martine Kolf-Clauw, Cyril Feidt, Nicole Picard-Hagen, Paule Vasseur, Bruno Le Bizec, Véronique Sirot
Food and Chemical Toxicology
August 13, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.06.008


Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are widely used and present in human food. Due to the increased susceptibility to pollutants of the young children, we conducted a total diet study focusing on this population. Around 200 baby and common food composite samples, prepared “as consumed”, have been analysed for PFAAS, hexabromocyclododecanes, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and tetrabromobisphenol A. The dietary exposure of 705 children aged 1–36 months was assessed. PFAAS were detected only in one fish sample. Detection rates varied from 4 to 93% for BFRs, depending on the congeners. Regarding the provisional health-based guidance values set by EFSA in 2018 for PFOA and PFOS at 0.8 and 1.8 ng kg bw−1.d−1, respectively, 20–100% of children exceeded them, depending on the age. Efforts should be made to decrease the PFAAs contamination of common foods. This study also highlighted that for other PFAAs, toxicological studies are needed to set dietary health-based guidance values, to assess their related health risk. Conversely, dietary exposures to BRFs were much lower than the respective health based guidance values or margins of safety were high enough, and consequently not considered at-risk due to very low contamination of the infant specific foods.



• Dietary exposure of infants to HBCDD, TBBPA, PBDEs, PFHxA and PFBS were considered not at risk.

• Due to latest health based guidance value, PFOS and PFOA exposures could be at risk for some infants.

• Health based guidance values are missing for many PFAAs.