Perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in home and commercially produced chicken eggs from the Netherlands and Greece

Zafeiraki, Effrosyni; Costopoulou, Danae; Vassiliadou, Irene; Leondiadis, Leondios; Dassenakis, Emmanouil; Hoogenboom, R.L.A.P.; Leeuwen, S.P.J. van


Dietary intake is a major route of human exposure to perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs). However, the available information on PFAS levels in food, including chicken eggs, is limited. In the present study, home produced and commercially produced eggs (organic, battery and free range eggs) were collected from the Netherlands (n = 95) and Greece (n = 76). The egg yolks were analysed for 11 PFASs by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry using isotope dilution. PFAS levels in yolk were higher in home produced eggs from the Netherlands (median 3.1, range -1) and Greece (median 1.1, range -1) compared to the eggs collected from supermarkets. In these eggs, all PFAS levels were below the LOQ of 0.5 ng g-1, except for a small amount of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in 1 sample in each country (1.1 ng g-1 and 0.9 ng g-1 for the Netherlands and Greece respectively).PFOS was the predominant PFAS, making up on average 85% of ∑PFASs. The highest PFOS concentration was detected in a Dutch home produced egg sample (24.8 ng g-1). The contamination pattern was similar in both countries with the long-chain PFASs (C ≥ 8) being most frequently detected, while short-chain PFASs were rarely found. The most likely cause of the contamination of home produced eggs is ingestion of soil through pecking. Although regular consumption of home produced eggs will lead to an increased PFOS exposure, it is not expected that it will lead to exceedance of the tolerable daily intake established by EFSA.