Ubiquitous Occurrence of Fluorotelomer Alcohols in Eco-Friendly Paper-Made Food-Contact Materials and Their Implication for Human Exposure

Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jan 19;50(2):942-50. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03806. Epub 2016 Jan 5.

Abstract

The occurrence of fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) was investigated in 94 food-contact materials (FCMs). We detected 6:2 FTOH (<0.60-1110 ng/g), 8:2 FTOH (<0.40-8490 ng/g), and 10:2 FTOH (<0.02-9350 ng/g) in most FCM samples, and four longer-chain C14-20 FTOHs were, for the first time, identified in FCMs with relatively high concentrations (<0.02-8450 ng/g for 12:2 FTOH, <0.02-1640 ng/g for 14:2 FTOH, <0.02-372 ng/g for 16:2 FTOH, and <0.02-130 ng/g for 18:2 FTOH). There were three typical profiles of FTOHs that were dominated by 6:2 FTOH (95.6 ± 8.1% in 9 FCMs), 8:2 FTOH (50.9 ± 20.8% in 22 FCMs), and 10:2 FTOH (44.5 ± 20.9% in 30 FCMs), indicating the congener-specific usage of FTOHs for different commercial purposes. All nine detectable FCMs produced in the United States were dominated by 6:2 FTOH, which was significantly different from those produced in China. The median concentration of total FTOHs in eco-friendly paper tableware was 2990 ng/g, which was lower than in popcorn bags (18 200 ng/g) but much higher than other FCMs (<0.55-38.7 ng/g). FTOHs could migrate from paper bowls, with migration efficiencies of 0.004-0.24% into water, 0.004-0.24% into 10% ethanol, 0.009-2.79% into 30% ethanol, 0.06-13.0% into 50% ethanol (v/v) simulants, and 0.04-2.28% into oil. Migration efficiencies decreased with increasing carbon chain lengths of FTOHs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis
  • Food Contamination*
  • Food Packaging*
  • Humans
  • Paper*

Substances

  • Alcohols
  • Fluorocarbons