On June 20, 2018, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a unit of the Center of Disease Control (CDC), released a draft toxic profile for 14 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that is now open for public comment. A summary of the profile including the key messages was published at the same time. Among other applications, PFAS have been and are still used in food packaging materials (see FPF dossier). The toxic profile reflects ATSDR’s best efforts to provide important toxicological information on these PFAS. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by July 23, 2018. Prior to publication of the assessment, it became public that other federal authorities tried to suppress its release.

In an article published on June 22, 2018, regulatory news provider Chemical Watch informed that the toxic profile assigned “very, very low” minimal risk levels (MRLs) to four of the 14 assessed substances, namely perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS, CAS 1763-23-1), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS 335-67-1), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxS, CAS 357-24-4), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA, CAS 375-95-1). MRLs are estimates of daily human exposures that are “unlikely to cause an appreciable risk of adverse non-cancer health effects.” The non-profit organization Environmental Working Group detailed in an article published on June 20, 2018, that “exposure to PFOA and PFOS, two notorious PFAS chemicals, should be seven to 10 times lower than the level previously recommended by the [Environmental Protection Agency].”

Read more

ATSDR (June 2018). “Toxic substances portal – perfluoroalkyls.

Kelly Franklin (June 21, 2018). “US ATSDR releases ‘suppressed’ PFAS tox profile.Chemical Watch

Alex Formuzis (June 20, 2018). “HHS releases ‘nightmare’ PFAS chemical study suppressed by Scott Pruitt, White House.Environmental Working Group

Alex Formuzis (May 14, 2018). “At Pruitt’s EPA, stricter limits to protect Americans from toxic fluorinated chemicals are ‘nightmare’.” Environmental Working Group

Steve Toloken (May 21, 2018). “US study urges stricter PFOA safety levels.Plastic News

Jim Therrien (June 22, 2018). “New report suggests current standards for PFOA levels are unsafe.VT Digger

Julie Miller (June 20, 2018). “US senators demand release of controversial PFAS report.Chemical Watch


ATSDR (June 2018). “Toxicological profile for perfluoroalkyls.(pdf)

ATSDR (June 2018). “PFAs toxicological profile key messages.(pdf)