Prepackaged microwave popcorn bags may cause exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). - GreenMedInfo Summary
Quantitation of gas-phase perfluoroalkyl surfactants and fluorotelomer alcohols released from nonstick cookware and microwave popcorn bags.
J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Oct;11(10):491-5. PMID: 17593716
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, USA.
Fluoropolymer dispersions are used for coating certain cookware products and food-contact packaging to impart oil and water repellency. Since salts of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are used as a processing aid in the manufacture of many fluoropolymers, it is necessary to determine if these compounds are still present as residuals after the process used to coat nonstick cookware or packaging, and could be released during typical cooking conditions. In this study, we identified and measured perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs), particularly PFOA, and fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs; 6:2 FTOH and 8:2 FTOH), released from nonstick cookware into the gas phase under normal cooking temperatures (179 to 233 degrees C surface temperature). PFOA was released into the gas phase at 7-337 ng (11-503 pg/cm2) per pan from four brands of nonstick frying pans. 6:2 FTOH and 8:2 FTOH were found in the gas phase of four brands of frying pans, and the sources of FTOHs released from nonstick cookware are under investigation. We observed a significant decrease in gas-phase PFOA following repeated use of one brand of pan, whereas the other brand did not show a significant reduction in PFOA release following multiple uses. PFOA was found at>5 ng during the fourth use of both brands of pans. FTOHs were not found after the second use of either brand of pans. PFOA was found at 5-34 ng in the vapors produced from a prepacked microwave popcorn bag. PFOA was not found in the vapors produced from plain white corn kernels popped in a polypropylene container. 6:2 FTOH and 8:2 FTOH were measured in the vapors produced from one brand of prepacked microwave popcorn at 223 + 37 ng and 258 +/- 36 ng per bag, respectively, but not measured at>20 ng (LOQ) in the other two brands. On the packaging surface of one brand of microwave popcorn several PFCAs, including C5-C12, 6:2 FTOH, and 8:2 FTOH, were found at concentrations in the order of 0.5-6.0 ng/cm2. This study suggests that residual PFOA is not completely removed during the fabrication process of the nonstick coating for cookware. They remain as residuals on the surface and may be off-gassed when heated at normal cooking temperatures.