Assessment of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid exposure through fish consumption in Italy

Submitted: 11 July 2016
Accepted: 7 September 2016
Published: 2 November 2016
Abstract Views: 1615
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Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are pollutants of anthropic origin with possible side effects on human health. Diet, and in particular fish and seafood, is considered the major intake pathway for humans. The present study investigated the levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in twenty-five samples of fresh fillet of five widely consumed fish species purchased from large retailers in Italy, to be used for an estimation of the Italian population exposure to these contaminants. PFOS and PFOA were found in all samples, at concentrations up to 1896 (mean=627 ng/kg) and 487 ng/kg (mean=75 ng/kg), respectively, confirming the role of fish as high contributor to human exposure. However, a remarkable inter-species variability was observed, and multiple factors were suggested as potentially responsible for such differences, suggesting that the preferential consumption of certain species could likely increase the intake, and thus the exposure. The exposure estimates for both average and high fish consumers resulted far below the tolerable daily intakes for PFOS and PFOA in all age groups, confirming the outcomes of EFSA’s scientific report. In particular, the calculated total dietary exposure for the 95th percentile consumers belonging to the toddler age class, the most exposed group, resulted equal to 9.72 ng/kg body weight (BW)/day for PFOS and 8.39 ng/kg BW/day for PFOA.



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How to Cite

Barbarossa A, Gazzotti T, Farabegoli F, Mancini FR, Zironi E, Busani L, Pagliuca G. Assessment of perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid exposure through fish consumption in Italy. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2016 Nov. 2 [cited 2024 Jul. 25];5(4). Available from: