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Analytical Results of Testing Food for PFAS from Environmental Contamination

<< Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

To understand the potential dietary exposure to PFAS from food, the FDA has focused its testing on foods most commonly eaten by people in the United States. The FDA also conducts testing of food grown or processed in areas with known environmental contamination, to detect and evaluate potential contamination of human and animal food.

For the scientific method, please visit: Determination of 16 Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Food using Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (Version 2019).

Testing Results for Food Grown or Produced in Specific Geographic Areas Contaminated with PFAS

  • Dairy Farm, 2018-Ongoing: Samples were collected from two dairy farms (Farm A & Farm B) with known PFAS contamination of groundwater. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that the levels of PFAS found in the limited sampling of milk from Farm B and cheese from Farm A present a human health concern. The milk samples from Farm A had levels of PFAS that could be a potential human health concern. The FDA has analyzed multiple collections of samples to assess PFAS levels and to date, all milk from Farm A has been discarded and has not entered the food supply. Sample collection and analysis is on-going, and results will be updated periodically.
  • Produce, 2018: Produce samples were analyzed from an area with known PFAS environmental contamination, in addition to 1 sample purchased outside of the area as a control. Sixteen of the 20 samples had detectable levels of PFAS. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that these substances, at the levels found in the sampling, present a human health concern. This sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in produce grown in this area more generally.
  • Cranberries, 2016: Cranberry samples were analyzed from a bog containing water with known PFAS environmental contamination. None of the 42 cranberry samples had detectable levels of PFAS. This sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about cranberries grown in this area more generally.

Testing Results for PFAS in Food from the General Food Supply

  • Produce, meat, dairy, and grain products, 2019: In 2019, samples that had been collected as part of the FY2018 Total Diet Study were analyzed for 16 types of PFAS chemicals. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that the PFAS at the levels found in the limited sampling present a human health concern. This sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in the general food supply.
  • Carbonated Water and Non-Carbonated Bottled Water, 2016: Samples of domestic and imported carbonated water and non-carbonated bottled water were collected at retail locations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and analyzed for PFAS. The samples included: purified, artesian, spring, mineral, and carbonated waters. None of the 30 samples had detectable levels of PFAS. This sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in carbonated water and non-carbonated bottled water more generally.
  • Seafood, 2013: Fish and shellfish samples from 13 species of fresh and saltwater fish from across the country were analyzed for PFAS. Eleven of the 46 samples had detectable levels of PFAS. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that these substances at the levels found in the limited sampling present a human health concern. This sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in seafood more generally.
  • Milk, 2012: Raw and retail milks were sampled from across the country and analyzed for PFAS. One of the 12 raw milk samples and none of the 49 retail milk samples had detectable levels of PFAS. The one raw milk sample with detectable PFAS was obtained from a dairy farm that had applied PFAS containing biosolids to its fields. Based on the best available current science, the FDA has no indication that these substances at the levels found in the limited sampling present a human health concern. The sample size is limited; therefore, these results cannot be used to draw definitive conclusions about the levels of PFAS in milk more generally.
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