Fluoride Action Network

UK: Dietary intake estimate for PFOS and other PFCs in UK retail foods

Source: Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A | March 1st, 2010 | By: Clarke DB, Bailey VA, Routledge A, Lloyd AS, Hird S, Mortimer DN, Gem M.
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

Title of study: Dietary intake estimate for perfluorooctanesulphonic acid (PFOS) and other perfluorocompounds (PFCs) in UK retail foods following determination using standard addition LC-MS/MS


The analysis of 252 food samples (UK-produced and imported) purchased from a variety of retail outlets in the UK was undertaken for the presence of perfluorooctanesulphonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and nine other perfluorocompounds (PFCs). A limit of quantification (LOQ) of 1 µg/kg was achieved for all target analytes, in all samples. Standard addition was used for quantification of PFC levels. All 11 of the targeted PFCs were detected in 75 individual food items. In 70% of the samples, including all meat other than offal, none of the analytes were present above the LOD. The highest levels found were 59 µg/kg perfluorooctanesulphonic acid (PFOS) and 63 µg/kg total PFCs (?PFCs) in an eel sample, and 40 µg/kg PFOS (62 µg/kg ?PFCs) in a whitebait sample. The highest level in an offal sample was 10 µg/kg, in a wild roe deer liver. There were six samples with ?PFCs >15 µg/kg (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), a further seven samples with ?PFCs ranging 11-15 µg/kg (including a liver), nine with ?PFCs ranging 6-10 µg/kg (fish and livers), 31 with ?PFCs in the range 2-5 µg/kg (including kidneys, popcorn and processed peas) and a further 22 with ?PFCs close to the LOD of 1 µg/kg (including eggs and potatoes). These concentrations indicate that UK consumers are being exposed to a low level of PFC contamination from food. The estimated upper bound dietary intake of 10 ng/kg bodyweight (bw)/day of PFOS for average adult consumers is well below the 0.15 µg (150 ng)/kg bw tolerable daily intake (TDI) set by the European Food Safety Authority. The lower bound adult dietary intake estimate of 1 ng/kg bw/day is similar to estimates undertaken and reported in countries such as Canada, Germany and S