Is the use of paper food contact materials treated with per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances safe for high-temperature applications? – Migration study in real food and food simulants
By Michaela Lerch, Khanh Hoang Nguyen, and Kit Granby
June 6, 2022
Migration of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) from paper food contact materials (FCMs) can pose a consumer risk. However, risk assessment procedures typically do not consider PFAS contribution from FCMs. Moreover, migration studies are often limited to one subclass of PFAS or simplified by using food simulants (FS). To assess the risk comprehensively, migration of three PFAS subclasses (perfluorinated carboxylic acids/ sulfonic acids (PFCAs/PFSAs), polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), and fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs)) from six FCMs were investigated to FS (50% and 20% ethanol) and food (oatmeal porridge, muffins, and tomato soup) under high-temperature conditions. Migration of PFCAs and FTOHs to all food samples was observed. Migration of PFCAs and FTOHs to 50% ethanol was significantly higher than migration to real food whilst FTOHs did not migrate into 20% ethanol. Estimated dietary PFAS exposure for children (1.06 – 5.67 ng/kgbw/day) exceeded EFSA’s proposed safety threshold (0.63 ng/kgbw/day), risking consumer health.
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