Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Food and Human Dietary Intake: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Jan 25;65(3):533-543. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04683. Epub 2017 Jan 12.


Because of the important environmental presence and the potential human toxicity of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), in recent years the social and scientific interest in these compounds has notably increased. Special attention has been paid to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the most extensively investigated PFASs. Although human exposure to PFASs may occur through different pathways, dietary intake seems to be the main route of exposure to these compounds. In 2012, we published a wide revision on the state of the science regarding the concentrations of PFASs in foodstuffs, the human dietary exposure to these compounds, and their health risks. In the present review, we have updated the information recently (2011-2016) published in the scientific literature. As in our previous review, we have also observed considerable differences in the PFASs detected-and their concentrations-in the food items analyzed in samples from a number of regions and countries. However, fish and other seafood seem to be the food group in which more PFASs are detected and where the concentrations of these compounds are higher. On the basis of the recommendations of the EFSA on the maximum dietary intakes of PFOS and PFOA, human health risks would not be of concern for nonoccupationally exposed populations, at least in the very limited countries for which recent data are available.

Keywords: PFOA; PFOS; dietary intake; health risks; per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / analysis*
  • Caprylates / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Humans


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid