Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada have been able for the first time to detect the perfluorinated chemicals polyfluoroalkyl phosphoric acid diesters (diPAPs), which are used in food packaging, in pooled blood samples taken from more than 200 people in mid-western USA in 2004, 2005 and 2008. The levels found are reported to have been at low part-per-billion concentrations.
They also found diPAPs at 100 times those concentrations in sewage sludge samples collected from wastewater treatment plants in Ontario, Canada, they report in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Their findings are significant because they provide a traceable route for diPAPs which could lead to ways to reduce exposure. Until now, scientists have found widespread contamination of human blood with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) in humans but these are breakdown products from a large number of potential sources making it difficult to suggest ways to reduce exposure.