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Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in consumer products

: Kotthoff, Matthias; Müller, Josef; Jürling, Heinrich; Schlummer, Martin; Fiedler, Dominik

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Environmental science and pollution research international : ESPR 22 (2015), No.19, pp.14546-14559
ISSN: 0944-1344
ISSN: 1614-7499
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()
Fraunhofer IVV ()
PFAA; PFAS; Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals; PFOS; PFOA; consumer products; food contact materials; outdoor textiles

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in a wide range of products of all day life.
Due to their toxicological potential, an emerging focus is directed towards their exposure to humans. This study investigated the PFAS load of consumer products in a broad perspective. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (C4, C6-C8, C10-PFSA), carboxylic acids (C4-C14-PFCA) and fluorotelomer alcohols (4:2, 6:2; 8:2 and 10:2 FTOH) were analysed in 115 random samples of consumer products including textiles (outdoor materials), carpets, cleaning and impregnating agents, leather samples, baking and sandwich papers, paper baking forms and ski waxes. PFCA and PFSA were analysed by HPLC-MS/MS, whereas FTOH were detected by GC/CI-MS. Consumer products such as cleaning agents or some baking and sandwich papers show low or negligible PFSA and PFCA contents. On the other hand, high PFAS levels were identified in ski waxes (up to about 2000 mikrog/kg PFOA), leather samples (up to about 200 mikrog/kg PFBA and 120 mikrog/kg PFBS), outdoor textiles (up to 19 mikrog/m2 PFOA) and some other baking papers (up to 15 mikrog/m2 PFOA). Moreover, some test samples like carpet and leather samples and outdoor materials exceeded the EU regulatory threshold value for PFOS (1 mikrog/m2). A diverse mixture of PFASs can be found in consumer products for all fields of daily use in varying concentrations. This study proves the importance of screening and monitoring of consumer products for PFAS loads and the necessity for an action to regulate the use of PFASs, especially PFOA, in consumer products.