The FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS) monitors the levels of nutrients and contaminants in food in the United States. Recently, the FDA tested 94 samples of different types of food products and only found one sample with PFAS, which was located in a piece of cod, later determined not to be of health concern.
PFAS – perfluorooctane sulfonate, a man-made chemical that has been used since the 1940s in the American food supply because it is used in cookware, packaging, and stain repellent – along with PFNA – perfluorononanoic acid, a synthetic acid and marked as an environmental contaminant in both people and wildlife – are tested by the FDA. However, these chemicals can lead to poor health outcomes in humans. By consuming PFAS either by eating or drinking it, you are exposing it to your body for long periods of time. During that time, the PFAS levels may increase in the body, which is when adverse health outcomes can occur in the immune system, thyroid, kidneys, reproductive organs, and more.
However, the recent study showed that the level of PFAS found was not a cause for concern. During this study, the FDA carefully considers outside factors that could have played a part in contamination, such as:
- If there is an established action level/tolerance
- How much of the food people typically eat (in this case, it would be a question of how much cod Americans consume on average)
- The level of contamination detected
- The toxicity of the contaminant
The results from the test fall in line with previous results stating that most TDS samples do not show detectable levels of PFAS with a few minor exceptions (such as the cod).