CRC CARE Technical Report 42: A human health review of PFOS and PFOA
PFOS and PFOA have been identified as contaminants of emerging concern in Australia. Both chemicals are persistent, bioaccumulative and potentially toxic, and exist at a number of sites, particularly where AFFF firefighting foams have been used. Originally, this report was developed to recommend tolerable daily intake (TDI) values for PFOS and PFOA, at a time when there were no national TDI values available (early 2016). The report provides an overview of the international studies used in considering TDI values. It also recommends background intake levels for PFOS and PFOA in Australia, which may be useful when assessing multiple exposure pathways.This version of the report does not recommend TDIs, and has been published for information only.
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The report refers to data from animal studies to estimate effects on human health in order to derive TDI values – while this introduces interspecies uncertainties, animal models exclude human variability factors (such as diet, drugs, infections, radiation and endogenous processes). An in-depth discussion of the issues was published as a peer-reviewed paper – see Dong et al 2017, ‘Issues raised by the reference doses for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid’, Environment International 105: 86-94.
This report was completed in early 2016 to complement CRC CARE's work on developing PFAS guidance at a time when there was limited Australian human health advice on PFAS. The policy, scientific and political landscape has changed substantially several times since this work was completed, and it is strongly recommended that readers refer to the most up-to-date advice published by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Commonwealth Department of Health, as well as any jurisdictional requirements.
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