Human Biomonitoring (HBM)-I values for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) - description, derivation and discussion

By Jürgen Hölzer, Hellmuth Lilienthal, and Michael Schümann
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol
January 19, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2021.104862

In 2016, the German Human Biomonitoring Commission (HBM-C) published a statement on its decision to develop HBM-I values for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)*. The HBM-I value corresponds to the concentration of a substance in a human biological material below which no adverse health effects are expected, according to current knowledge and assessment by the HBM-C, and, consequently, there is no need for action. Evidence for associations between PFOA- and PFOS-body burden and health outcomes was found for fertility and pregnancy, weights of newborns at birth, lipid metabolism, immunity, sex hormones and age at puberty/menarche, thyroid hormones, onset of menopause as well as uric acid metabolism. Significant contrasts were reported for human blood plasma concentrations between 1 and 10 ng PFOA/mL, and 1-15 ng PFOS /mL, respectively. Within the reported ranges, the HBM-C has decided to set the HBM-I-values at 2 ng PFOA/mL and 5 ng PFOS/mL blood plasma. The underlying pathomechanisms do not appear to be sufficiently clarified to provide an unambiguous explanation of the effects observed. Consistency of toxicological and epidemiological data has been considered. The available data do not indicate an unequivocal proof of a genotoxicity of PFOA and PFOS.

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