Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Food Packaging: Migration, Toxicity, and Management Strategies

By Drake W Phelps, Lindsey V Parkinson, Justin M Boucher, Jane Muncke, and Birgit Geueke
Environ Sci Technol
March 19, 2024
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c03702

PFASs are linked to serious health and environmental concerns. Among their widespread applications, PFASs are known to be used in food packaging and directly contribute to human exposure. However, information about PFASs in food packaging is scattered. Therefore, we systematically map the evidence on PFASs detected in migrates and extracts of food contact materials and provide an overview of available hazard and biomonitoring data. Based on the FCCmigex database, 68 PFASs have been identified in various food contact materials, including paper, plastic, and coated metal, by targeted and untargeted analyses. 87% of these PFASs belong to the perfluorocarboxylic acids and fluorotelomer-based compounds. Trends in chain length demonstrate that long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids continue to be found, despite years of global efforts to reduce the use of these substances. We utilized ToxPi to illustrate that hazard data are available for only 57% of the PFASs that have been detected in food packaging. For those PFASs for which toxicity testing has been performed, many adverse outcomes have been reported. The data and knowledge gaps presented here support international proposals to restrict PFASs as a group, including their use in food contact materials, to protect human and environmental health.

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