On October 31, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is publicly releasing a validated analytical method to test for 16 types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a range of food groups. The method has been validated for measuring concentrations in bread, lettuce, milk, and fish. Of the 16 PFAS it covers, these include perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA; CAS 307-24-4), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFOS; CAS 1763-23-1), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; CAS 335-67-1), and 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoro-2-(1,1,2,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropoxy) propanoic acid (GenX; CAS 13252-13-6).
The FDA also released final testing results from an earlier sampling campaign testing PFAS in foods (FPF reported) within the organization’s Total Diet Study. These final results made use of the new analytical method and allowed for establishing a method detection limit for each food group. An article published by Chemical Watch informed that the final results differed from the initial results released in June 2019, due partially in part to the use of the new method. The final results found that only 2 of the 91 food samples had detectable levels of the tested PFASs. This is compared with the initial findings of 14 of the 91 samples had detectable levels. For produce samples, the final results yielded 16 of 20 having detectable levels, whereas the initial results had found 19 of 20 with detectable levels. A finding of high PFAS concentrations in milk from one sampled farm remains unchanged, and those food products were disposed of and not allowed to enter the market.
FDA (October 31, 2019). “FDA Makes Available Testing Method for PFAS in Foods and Final Results from Recent Surveys.”
Amanda Ulrich (November 5, 2019). “US FDA releases method for testing 16 PFASs in food.” Chemical Watch
Tom Neltner (November 20, 2019). “FDA’s updated results for PFAS in food suggest progress but raise questions about its method.” Environmental Defense Fund