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Abstract

Fluorochemicals are a diverse group of synthetically produced compounds with the unique ability to repel water as well as oil. This property makes them ideal for multiple purposes in a variety of consumer and industrial products. Fluorochemicals have been detected in the environment, as well as in human blood, urine and milk. Due to their long half-life in human beings, there is an increased risk that exposure to these compounds can cause adverse effects. However, except for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), there is a large data gap regarding toxicological information on fluorochemicals. Polyfluorinated alkyl phosphate ester surfactants (PAPs) belong to the group of polyfluorinated alkyl surfactants. They have been detected in indoor dust and are widely used in food-contact materials, from which they have the ability to migrate into food. Toxicological data on PAPs are very limited, but current studies indicate that some PAPs have the potential to interfere with sex hormone synthesis in vitro. Disturbance of the sex hormone balance in foetal life has been suggested to be an important mechanism involved in adverse effects on, for example, male reproductive health and development. The current lack of toxicological data on PAPs impairs the risk assessment of this group of compounds. However, until more toxicological data on PAPs are available, the limited data currently accessible give reason to believe that these compounds might have the ability to cause potentially adverse effects, as seen for other perfluorinated chemicals, including some metabolic products of PAPs.