miércoles, 13 de agosto de 2008

EFSA opinion on two environmental pollutants (PFOS and PFOA) present in food

EFSA assessment exposure to PFOS and PFOA
Two environmentally-persistent chemical compounds – perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – are being increasingly found in the environment, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked to evaluate the importance of food to human exposure to these substances. According to EFSA’s Contaminants (CONTAM) Panel, food, in particular fish and fishery products seem to be a significant source of exposure to these contaminants. Based on the available data, the Panel established Tolerable Daily Intakes (TDI) for both PFOS and PFOA. For PFOS, the Panel established a TDI of 150 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per day and for PFOA 1.5 micrograms (1,500 nanograms) per kilogram of body weight per day, and concluded that the general population in Europe is unlikely to suffer negative health effects from dietary exposure to these chemicals. However, high consumers of fish may be slightly exceeding the TDI for PFOS.
Environmental exposure through air and water also seems to play a significant role for PFOS, and even more so for PFOA. Other food-related exposure routes exist, though to a lesser extent, such as drinking water for both PFOS and PFOA and food packaging material (e.g. microwave popcorn bags), and cookware (non-stick coatings) in the case of PFOA.
High exposure to PFOS and PFOA can have a harmful impact on health and can damage the liver, cause developmental and possibly reproductive problems. Certain laboratory experiments on rats have indicated some potential to promote cancer but it is not clear if these results have implications for human health.
The Panel called for further research and data collection on PFOS/PFOA presence in foods and feeding stuffs in order to assess their relative contribution to human dietary exposure.

Aporte: Constanza Miranda

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