Main content area

Issues raised by the reference doses for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid

Dong, Zhaomin, Bahar, Md Mezbaul, Jit, Joytishna, Kennedy, Bruce, Priestly, Brian, Ng, Jack, Lamb, Dane, Liu, Yanju, Duan, Luchun, Naidu, Ravi
Environment international 2017 v.105 pp. 86-94
United States Environmental Protection Agency, humans, immunotoxicity, lactation, models, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid, pharmacokinetics, pods, pregnancy, uncertainty
On 25th May 2016, the U.S. EPA released reference doses (RfDs) for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) of 20ng/kg/day, which were much more conservative than previous values. These RfDs rely on the choices of animal point of departure (PoD) and the toxicokinetics (TK) model. At this stage, considering that the human evidence is not strong enough for RfD determination, using animal data may be appropriate but with more uncertainties. In this article, the uncertainties concerning RfDs from the choices of PoD and TK models are addressed. Firstly, the candidate PoDs should include more critical endpoints (such as immunotoxicity), which may lead to lower RfDs. Secondly, the reliability of the adopted three-compartment TK model is compromised: the parameters are not non-biologically plausible; and this TK model was applied to simulate gestation and lactation exposures, while the two exposure scenarios were not actually included in the model structure.