While the carcinogenic and possible genotoxic potential of furan has been confirmed in animal studies, its effects on humans have not been fully clarified to date. In the period from 2007 to 2017, furan levels in food were analyzed by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety. Based on these data, the exposure of Austrian adolescents and seniors to furan was estimated. The average total daily intake of furan for adolescents is 0.12 µg/kg bw/day. Frequent eaters among adolescents consume 0.68 µg furan/kg bw/day. Coffee and cereal products contribute most to the total exposure to furan. For adults aged 65-75 years, the average total daily intake of furan is 0.26 µg/kg bw/day. Frequent eaters in this population consume 0.47 µg furan/kg bw/day. Adults over 75 years of age have an average total intake of 0.28 µg/kg bw/day and a high intake of 0.48 µg furan/kg bw/day. For both population groups, coffee and prepared foods contribute most to total exposure to furan. In adults aged 65-75 years, cereal products also play a significant role. If the BMDL10 of 0.064 mg/kg bw/day is used for the development of cholangiofibrosis, no health concerns are expected for Austrian adolescents and seniors, with the exception of adolescent frequent eaters. The MOE calculation considering the BMDL10 of 1.31 mg/kg bw/day for the development of hepatocellular adenomas showed that with the exception of the adolescent average eaters, both the average eaters and the frequent eaters of all population groups are below the MOE of 10,000. Based on these results, health concerns for adolescent frequent eaters and seniors cannot be ruled out.
Last updated: 14.09.2022