Food Analysis >> Analytical Testing >> Perfluorinated Compounds

Analyses for Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)

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Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) are surface-active organic substances. They are exclusively technically produced. At present there are around 850 synthetic PFC compounds available. The most important technical substances are perfluorinated alkylsulfonates with Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as most prominent compound and perfluorinated carbon acids with Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as most important substance. The fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOH) have to be mentioned here as well.

Due to their specific technical characteristics PFCs are used in quite a number of products such as e.g. in textiles, carpets, cosmetics, paper, packaging materials as well as in general in the chemical synthesis, metallation, photo and semi-conductor industries.

Perfluorinated compounds are extremely thermally and chemically stable and have soil, water and fat-repellent properties. They are nearly non-biodegradable and accumulate in the environment and the food chain.

The European Union classifies PFOS as a PBT substance (persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic). The European Commission has banned the marketing and use of PFOS since June 27th, 2008. In May 2009 PFOS have been adopted in the Stockholm Convention on POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants). The American environmental authority classifies both PFOS and PFOA as carcinogenic.

On March 17, 2010 the European Commission recommended (2010/161/EU) the member states to examine foodstuffs of plant and animal origin for perfluorinated alkyl substances during the next 2 years in order to assess human exposition.

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