Comparative analysis of the toxicological databases for 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)

Food Chem Toxicol. 2020 Apr:138:111210. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2020.111210. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


6:2 Fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH) is a short-chain polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) in polymeric PFAS used in fast food packaging and stain- and water-resistant textiles and may be degradation products of some components of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF). The general population is exposed to 6:2 FTOH by inhalation of evaporates from treated surfaces or ambient concentrations in air, ingestion of indoor dust, or ingestion of food packaged in materials containing PFAS. Although exposure to 6:2 FTOH is pervasive, little is known concerning human health effects of this compound. Some published risk assessments have assumed that perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), a metabolite of 6:2 FTOH, adequately models the human health effects of 6:2 FTOH. Recently identified studies conducted with 6:2 FTOH and its metabolite, 5:3 acid, have provided information that enables comparison of the toxicological profiles of PFHxA and 6:2 FTOH. This article summarizes a comparative analysis of the toxicological effects of PFHxA and 6:2 FTOH in rodents to determine whether data for PFHxA adequately models potential hazards of 6:2 FTOH exposure. Our analysis demonstrates that 6:2 FTOH is significantly more toxic than PFHxA. Use of toxicological studies conducted with PFHxA to assess 6:2 FTOH exposure may significantly underestimate human health risk.

Keywords: 5:3 acid; 6:2 FTOH; 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol; PFHxA; Perfluorohexanoate; Perfluorohexanoic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols / chemistry
  • Alcohols / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Caproates
  • Databases, Factual
  • Fluorocarbons / chemistry
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Toxicology*


  • Alcohols
  • Caproates
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorohexanoic acid