Analysis of Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Fast Food Packaging by LC-MS/MS Method


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- A direct LC-MS/MS method was established for the quantitative determination of 15 targeted PFAS compounds in food contact materials (FCM) using LCMS-8050. - The results show that 12 out of 15 targeted PFAS were present in seven fast food packaging samples. The concentrations of the PFAS were far below the limit set by the Danish Ministry of Environmental and Food Guideline in 2015.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been detected in waters, soils, sediments, fish, foods, and human blood among others. Recently, PFAS were reported in disposable fast food packaging such as paper wrappers, paperboard clamshells, and beverage cups. In 2015, the Danish Ministry of Environmental and Food set a guideline to limit the maximum total organic fluorine to 0.35 ug/dm² for food contact materials (FCM). This value corresponds to 0.5 ug of PFOA/dm². However, the same organization has banned the use of all fluorinated substances in FCM since 2020. Targeted screening and quantitation of PFAS in drinking water by LC-MS/MS are well established with reference to the US EPA Method 537. Publications on PFAS analysis in FCM have become available in recent years. Laurel A. Schaider et al. reported their results of PFAS analysis using PIGE and LC-HRMS methods on over 400 FCM samples. In this Application News, an LC-MS/MS method for the detection and quantitation of 15 PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, in fast food packaging samples is presented. The same sample pre-treatment used by Schaider et al. was adopted to extract PFAS from the samples.

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