Regulatory agencies interested in controlling exposure
Chemicals that line everything from fast-food wrappers to linings in pizza boxes can migrate into food, then get ingested and cause chemical contamination in the blood, according to new research from scientists at the University of Toronto.
Perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) are the breakdown products of chemicals used to make non-stick and water- and stain-repellant products, including food packaging. PFCAs are found in the human body all over the world. According to the UT scientists’ research, much of this chemical residue in the bloodstream may come from the consumption of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), greaseproofing agents applied to paper food packaging such as fast-food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.
In the study, rats were exposed to PAPs either orally or by injection and monitored for a three-week period to track the concentrations of the PAPs and PFCA metabolites, PFOA, in their blood. Human exposure to PAPs had already been established by the scientists in a previous study.
Researchers used the PAP concentrations previously observed in human blood together with the PAP and PFCA concentrations observed in the rats to calculate human exposure from PAP metabolism. They found the concentrations of PFCA metabolites to be significant, indicating that metabolism of PAPs could be a major source of human exposure to these chemicals.