Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Primary Health Care, University of Tilburg, Tilburg, The Netherlands Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Medical Genetics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA Department of Teaching & Research Support, University of Groningen, The Netherlands Clinical & Developmental Neuropsychology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands Department of Paediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study is an ongoing prospective cohort study that recruits pregnant women early in pregnancy and, as of 2012, is following up their infants to 3 years of age. It has currently enrolled approximately 5000 Canadians (2000 pregnant women, their offspring and many of their partners). The primary aims of the APrON study were to determine the relationships between maternal nutrient intake and status, before, during and after gestation, and (1) maternal mood; (2) birth and obstetric outcomes; and (3) infant neurodevelopment. We have collected comprehensive maternal nutrition, anthropometric, biological and mental health data at multiple points in the pregnancy and the post-partum period, as well as obstetrical, birth, health and neurodevelopmental outcomes of these pregnancies. The study continues to follow the infants through to 36 months of age. The current report describes the study design and methods, and findings of some pilot work. The APrON study is a significant resource with opportunities for collaboration.
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFSs) are used in industrial and commercial products and can degrade to persistent perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs). Temporal trend studies using human, fish, bird, and marine mammal samples indicate that exposure to PFSs has increased significantly over the past 15-25 years. This review summarizes the biological monitoring of PFCAs, PFSAs, and related PFSs in wildlife and humans, compares concentrations and contamination profiles among species and locations, evaluatesthe bioaccumulation/biomagnification in the environment, discusses possible sources, and identifies knowledge gaps. PFSs can reach elevated concentrations in humans and wildlife inhabiting industrialized areas of North America, Europe, and Asia (2-30,000 ng/ mL or ng/g of wet weight (ww)). PFSs have also been detected in organisms from the Arctic and mid-ocean islands (
With growth of the Canadian oil sands industry, concerns have been raised about possible seepage of toxic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) into the Athabasca River (AR). A sampling campaign in fall 2015 was undertaken to monitor for anthropogenic seepage while also considering natural sources. Naphthenic acids (NAs) and thousands of bitumen-derived organics were characterized in surface water, groundwater, and OSPW using a highly sensitive online solid phase extraction-HPLC-Orbitrap method. Elevated NA concentrations and bitumen-derived organics were detected in McLean Creek (30.1 µg/L) and Beaver Creek (190 µg/L), two tributaries that are physically impacted by tailings structures. This was suggestive of OSPW seepage, but conclusive differentiation of anthropogenic and natural sources remained difficult. High NA concentrations and bitumen-derived organics were also observed in natural water located far north of the industry, including exceedingly high concentrations in AR groundwater (A5w-GW, 2000 µg/L) and elevated concentration in a tributary river (Pierre River, 34.7 µg/L). Despite these evidence for both natural and anthropogenic seepage, no evidence of any bitumen-derived organics was detected at any location in AR mainstem surface water. The chemical significance of any bitumen-derived seepage to the AR was therefore minimal, and focused monitoring in tributaries will be valuable in the future.
Perfluoroalkyl substances were determined in liver tissues and blood of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from five locations in the North American Arctic and two locations in the European Arctic. Concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonate, heptadecafluorooctane sulfonamide, and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates with C(8)-C(15) perfluorinated carbon chains were determined using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. PFOS concentrations were significantly correlated with age at four of seven sampling locations, while gender was not correlated to concentration for any compound measured. Populations in South Hudson Bay (2000-2730 ng/g wet wt), East Greenland (911-2140 ng/g wet wt), and Svalbard (756-1290 ng/g wet wt) had significantly (P
Exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) may arise directly, from emission and exposure to PFOS itself, or indirectly via the environmental release and degradation of PFOS-precursors. Human serum enantiomer fractions (EFs) of 1m-PFOS have been shown to be nonracemic, suggesting that PFOS-precursors are a significant source of PFOS in humans, but little is known about the importance of PFOS-precursors in ecosystems. In the current work, concentrations of PFOS, perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), PFOS isomer profiles, and EFs of 1m-PFOS were determined in Lake Ontario water, sediment, fishes and invertebrates. Concentrations of PFOS and PFOSA were highest in slimy sculpin and Diporeia, and concentrations of the two compounds were often correlated. 1m-PFOS was racemic in sediment, water, sculpin and rainbow smelt, but nonracemic in the top predator, lake trout, and all invertebrate species. Furthermore, EFs were correlated with the relative concentrations of PFOS and PFOSA in invertebrates. Overall, these empirical observations with a new analytical tool confirm previous suggestions that PFOS-precursors contribute to PFOS in the food web, likely via sediment. Implications are that future PFOS exposures in this ecosystem will be influenced by an in situ source, and that the apparent environmental behavior of PFOS (e.g., bioaccumulation potential) can be confounded by precursors.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) are normally the dominant perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum, but here a Canadian family of seven was identified with particularly high exposure to perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS). Disproportionately high serum PFHxS concentrations (range 27.5-423 ng/mL) and moderately high PFOS (range 15.2-108 ng/mL) and PFOA (range 2.40-9.23 ng/mL) concentrations were detected in the family members, with all three chemicals being highest in the youngest children. We therefore sought to identify the source(s) and pathway(s) of this unusual exposure, and to study the excretion of PFASs for this family. Serum, urine, and stool were sampled from family members, carpet, dust, and air were sampled in the home, and a questionnaire was administered. Over 15 years, the family's household carpets were treated 8 times with Scotchgard formulations. Elevated concentrations of PFHxS were detected in household dust (2780 ng/g dust) and in family room carpet (2880 ng/g carpet), and the primary mode of excretion for the major PFASs was through urine. The high PFHxS and moderately high PFOS concentrations in serum and household samples are consistent with the known PFAS content of certain Scotchgard formulations, and exposure was likely through dust ingestion and/or inhalation.
Exposure of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to persistent organic pollutants was discovered in the 1970s, but recent evidence suggests the presence of unknown toxic chemicals in their blood. Protein and phospholipid depleted serum was stirred with polyethersulfone capillaries to extract a broad range of analytes, and nontarget mass spectrometry with "fragmentation flagging" was used for detection. Hundreds of analytes were discovered belonging to 13 classes, including novel polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) metabolites and many fluorinated or chlorinated substances not previously detected. All analytes were detected in the oldest (mid-1980s) archived polar bear serum from Hudson Bay and Beaufort Sea, and all fluorinated classes showed increasing trends. A mouse experiment confirmed the novel PCB metabolites, suggesting that these could be widespread in mammals. Historical exposure and toxic risk has been underestimated, and emerging contaminants pose uncertain risks to this threatened species.
Perfluoroalkyl substances were determined in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected in East Greenland (69 degrees 00'N to 74 degrees 00"N) to compare with other populations and to examine effects of age and gender on concentrations of these contaminants. Hepatic tissue (n = 29) was analyzed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate, heptadecafluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) with C9-C15 perfluorinated carbon chains by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Concentrations of PFOS found in samples from East Greenland (mean = 2,470+/-1,320 ng/g wet weight) were similar to Hudson Bay, Canada, and both populations had significantly greater concentrations than those reported for Alaska, suggesting a spatial trend. Male bears showed a significant increase in concentration up to age six for PFCAs with C10-C14 carbon chains (r2 > or = 0.50, p
Human perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) body burdens are attributable to both direct PFOS and indirect PFOS precursor (PreFOS) exposure. The relative importance of these two pathways has been estimated, but the relative temporal trajectory of exposure to PFOS and PreFOS has not been examined. Here, two hypothesized biomarkers of PreFOS exposure, PFOS isomer profiles (quantified as percent branched PFOS, %br-PFOS) and chiral 1m-PFOS enantiomer fractions (1m-PFOS EF) were analyzed in archived human serum samples of individual American adults (1974-2010) and pooled samples of Swedish primiparous women (1996-2010). After correcting for potential confounders, significant correlations between %br-PFOS and 1m-PFOS EFs were observed in American samples and in Swedish samples for the 1996-2000 period, supporting the hypothesis that both %br-PFOS and 1m-PFOS EF are biomarkers of PreFOS exposure. Significant trends of increasing %br-PFOS, from 2000 to 2010, and increasingly non-racemic 1m-PFOS EFs, from 1996 to 2000, were detected in Swedish samples. No statistically significant trend for %br-PFOS or 1m-PFOS EF was observed in American samples, but American males had significantly higher %br-PFOS and significantly lower 1m-PFOS EF (i.e. more non-racemic) than females, and a similar significant difference was shown in the older age group, relative to the younger age group. These temporal trends in %br-PFOS and 1m-PFOS EF are not easily explained and the results highlight uncertainties about how humans are exposed to PFOS.