Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and fluorine mass balance in cosmetic products from the Swedish market: implications for environmental emissions and human exposure†
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a diverse class of >4700 chemicals used in commercial products and industrial processes. Concerns surrounding PFASs are principally due to their widespread occurrence in humans and the environment and links to adverse health effects. One of the lesser known uses for PFASs is in cosmetic products (CPs) which come into contact with the skin (e.g. hair products, powders, sunblocks, etc.). In the present work, thirty-one CPs from five product categories (cream, foundation, pencil, powder and shaving foam) were analyzed for 39 PFASs by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, as well as extractable organic fluorine (EOF) and total fluorine (TF) by combustion ion chromatography (CIC). This multi-platform approach enabled determination of the fraction of fluorine accounted for by known PFASs (i.e. fluorine mass balance). Foundations and powders contained 25 different PFASs with the most frequently detected being perfluorinated carboxylic acids (perfluoroheptanoic acid and perfluorohexanoic acid) and polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs). Σ14PAP concentrations up to 470 μg g−1 were measured in products listing mixtures of PAPs as an ingredient. For all samples, Σ39PFAS concentrations only explained a small fraction of the EOF and TF, pointing to the presence of unknown organic and/or inorganic fluorinated substances, including polymers. While creams, pencil and shaving foams did not contain measurable concentrations of any of the 39 PFASs targeted here, CIC revealed high to moderate TF content. Overall, these data highlight the need for further investigations into the occurrence of PFASs in CPs and their importance with regards to human and environmental exposure.