The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has published new documents with questions and answers relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as well as aluminum. A brief background on the substances is provided, and summary answers are given to common questions about their sources, exposure pathways to humans and the environment, health risks, and regulatory guidelines. Relevant regulatory documents and published recommendations from the BfR are cited throughout.

The BfR also published a position statement regarding the intake of aluminum and its impact on human health risks. Total aluminum intakes were estimated for four different age groups, and exposure sources were compared. The risk assessment completed was based on a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 1 mg/kg body weight as derived by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Foods were found to still be a relevant but no longer the dominant source of aluminum exposure. The TWI was found to be met or exceeded when also considering additional exposure sources including uncoated food contact materials and cosmetic products. To reduce aluminum intake, consumers are advised to not prepare or store especially acidic and salty foods in uncoated aluminum containers or aluminum foil. Manufacturers are recommended to reduce amount of aluminum in foodstuffs through, for example, use of raw or coating materials with low aluminum levels for processing and packaging.

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BfR (November 5, 2019). “Fragen und Antworten zu perfluorierten und polyfluorierten Alkylsubstanzen (PFAS).” (in German)

BfR (November 18, 2019). “Fragen und Antworten zu Aluminium in Lebensmitteln und verbrauchernahen Produkten.” (in German)

BfR (November 18, 2019). “Reduzierung der Aluminiumaufnahme kann mögliche Gesundheitsrisiken minimieren.” (pdf) (in German)