Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a perfluorinated molecule that has recently been identified in the sera of nonindustrially exposed humans. In this study, 247 tissue samples from 15 species of marine mammals collected from Florida, California, and Alaskan coastal waters; and northern Baltic Sea; the Arctic (Spitsbergen); and Sable Island in Canada were analyzed for PFOS. PFOS was detected in liver and blood of marine mammals from most locations including those from Arctic waters. The greatest concentrations of PFOS found in liver and blood were 1520 ng/g wet wt in a bottlenose dolphin from Sarasota Bay, FL, and 475 ng/mL in a ringed seal from the northern Baltic Sea (Bothnian Sea), respectively. No age-dependent increase in PFOS concentrations in marine mammals was observed in the samples analyzed. The occurrence of PFOS in marine mammals from the Arctic waters suggests widespread global distribution of PFOS including remote locations.
Department of Environmental Medicine, Institute of Public Health (C.A.G.T., L.I.R., C.D., P.G., F.N., T.K.J.), and Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics (A.G., M.R.-L., L.B.A.), University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense C, Denmark; and Department of Biostatistics (K.D.S., T.S.), University of Copenhagen, 1353 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Our objective was to explore whether childhood exposure to perfluorinated and polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), widely used stain- and grease-repellent chemicals, is associated with adiposity and markers of glycemic control.
Body mass index, skinfold thickness, waist circumference, leptin, adiponectin, insulin, glucose, and triglyceride concentrations were assessed in 8- to 10-year-old children in 1997 in a subset of the European Youth Heart Study, Danish component. Plasma PFC concentrations were available from 499 children. Linear regression models were performed to determine the association between PFC exposure and indicators of adiposity and markers of glycemic control.
There was no association between PFC exposures and adiposity or markers of glycemic control in normal-weight children. Among overweight children, an increase of 10 ng perfluorooctane sulfonic acid/mL plasma was associated with 16.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-28.3%) higher insulin concentration, 12.0% (95% CI, 2.4%-22.4%) higher ß-cell activity, 17.6% (95% CI, 5.8%-30.8%) higher insulin resistance, and 8.6% (95% CI, 1.2%-16.5%) higher triglyceride concentrations, and an increase of 10 ng perfluorooctanoic acid/mL plasma was associated with 71.6% (95% CI, 2.4%-187.5%) higher insulin concentration, 67.5% (95% CI, 5.5%-166.0%) higher ß-cell function, 73.9% (95% CI, 0.2%-202.0%) higher insulin resistance, and 76.2% (95% CI, 22.8%-153.0%) higher triglyceride concentrations.
Increased PFC exposure in overweight 8- to 10-year-old children was associated with higher insulin and triglyceride concentrations. Chance findings may explain some of our results, and due to the cross-sectional design, reverse causation cannot be excluded. The findings therefore need to be confirmed in longitudinal studies.
The mechanisms involved in thyroid homeostasis are complex, and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have been indicated to interfere at several levels in this endocrine system. Disruption of the maternal thyroid homeostasis during early pregnancy is of particular concern, where subclinical changes in maternal thyroid hormones (THs) may affect embryonic and foetal development. The present study investigated associations between THs, thyroid binding proteins (TH-BPs) and PFAS concentrations in pregnant women from Northern Norway. Women participating in The Northern Norway Mother-and-Child contaminant Cohort Study (MISA) donated a blood sample at three visits related to their pregnancy and postpartum period (during the second trimester, 3 days and 6 weeks after delivery) in the period 2007-2009. Participants were assigned to quartiles according to PFAS concentrations during the second trimester and mixed effects linear models were used to investigate potential associations between PFASs and repeated measurements of THs, TH-BPs, thyroxin binding capacity and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPOs). Women within the highest perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) quartile had 24% higher mean concentrations of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) compared to the first quartile at all sampling points. Women within the highest quartiles of perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) had 4% lower mean concentrations of triiodothyronine (T3) and women within the highest quartile of perfluoroundecanoate (PFUnDA) had 3% lower mean concentrations of free triiodothyronine (FT3). Further, the difference in concentrations and the changes between three time points were the same for the PFAS quartiles. Thyroxin binding capacity was associated with all the THs and TH-BPs, and was selected as a holistic adjustment for individual changes in TH homeostasis during pregnancy. Finally, adjusting for maternal iodine status did not influence the model predictions. Findings in the present study suggest modifications of TH homeostasis by PFASs in a background exposed maternal population. The variation in levels of THs between PFAS quartiles was within normal reference ranges and may not be of clinical significance in the pregnant woman. However, subtle individual changes in maternal THs may have significant consequences for foetal health.
Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) have been widely used and have emerged as important food contaminants. A recent study on pregnant women suggested that PFC exposure was associated with a longer time to pregnancy (TTP). We examined the association between serum concentrations of PFCs in females and TTP in 222 Danish first-time pregnancy planners during the years 1992-1995.
The couples were enrolled in the study when discontinuing birth control and followed for six menstrual cycles or until a clinically recognized pregnancy occurred. Fecundability ratio (FR) was calculated using discrete-time survival models. In addition, odds ratio (OR) for TTP >6 cycles was calculated.
OR for TTP >6 cycles for those with PFC concentrations above the median were 0.96 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.54-1.64] for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the major PFC, compared with those below the median. FRs for those with PFOS concentrations above the median were 1.05 (95% CI: 0.74-1.48) compared with those below the median. Other PFCs showed the same lack of association with TTP. The results were not affected by adjustment for covariates. PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid concentrations were similar to those observed in a previous Danish study.
These findings suggest that exposure to PFCs affects TTP only to a small extent, if at all.
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of highly persistent chemicals that are widespread contaminants in wildlife and humans. Exposure to PFAS affects thyroid homeostasis in experimental animals and possibly in humans. The objective of this study was to examine the association between plasma concentrations of PFASs and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) among pregnant women.
A total of 903 pregnant women who enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study from 2003 to 2004 were studied. Concentrations of thirteen PFASs and TSH were measured in plasma samples collected around the 18th week of gestation. Linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between PFASs and TSH.
Among the thirteen PFASs, seven were detected in more than 60% of samples and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) had the highest concentrations (median, 12.8 ng/mL; inter-quartile range [IQR], 10.1 -16.5 ng/mL). The median TSH concentration was 3.5 (IQR, 2.4 - 4.8) µIU/mL. Pregnant women with higher PFOS had higher TSH levels. After adjustment, with each 1 ng/mL increase in PFOS concentration, there was a 0.8% (95% confidence interval: 0.1%, 1.6%) rise in TSH. The odds ratio of having an abnormally high TSH, however, was not increased, and other PFASs were unrelated to TSH.
Our results suggest an association between PFOS and TSH in pregnant women that is small and may be of no clinical significance.
Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are used in a variety of consumer products and have been detected worldwide in human blood. Recent studies mainly of highly exposed populations have indicated that PFOA and PFOS may affect serum cholesterol levels, but the magnitude of the effect may be inconsistent across exposure levels. The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between plasma PFOA and PFOS and total cholesterol in a general, middle-aged Danish population. The study population comprised 753 individuals (663 men and 90 women), 50-65 years of age, nested within a Danish cohort of 57,053 participants. Blood samples were taken from all cohort members at enrolment (1993-1997) and stored in a biobank at -150°C. Plasma levels of PFOA and PFOS and serum levels of total cholesterol were measured. The associations between plasma PFOA and PFOS levels and total cholesterol levels were analysed by generalized linear models, both crude and adjusted for potential confounders. We observed statistically significant positive associations between both perfluorinated compounds and total cholesterol, e.g. a 4.4 [95% CI ?=? 1.1-7.8] higher concentration of total cholesterol (mg/dL) per interquartile range of PFOA plasma level. Sex and prevalent diabetes appeared to modify the association between PFOA and PFOS, respectively, and cholesterol. In conclusion, this study indicated positive associations between plasma PFOA and PFOS levels and total cholesterol in a middle-aged Danish population, although whether the observed pattern of results reflects a causal association is unclear.
Cites: Drug Chem Toxicol. 2000 Nov;23(4):603-2011071397
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Oct 1;45(19):8137-4320939531
Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs), persistent chemicals with unique water-, dirt-, and oil-repellent properties, are suspected of having endocrine-disrupting activity. The PFAA compounds perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are found globally in humans; because they readily cross the placental barrier, in utero exposure may be a cause for concern.
We investigated whether in utero exposure to PFOA and PFOS affects semen quality, testicular volume, and reproductive hormone levels.
We recruited 169 male offspring (19-21 years of age) from a pregnancy cohort established in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1988-1989, corresponding to 37.6% of the eligible sons. Each man provided a semen sample and a blood sample. Semen samples were analyzed for sperm concentration, total sperm count, motility, and morphology, and blood samples were used to measure reproductive hormones. As a proxy for in utero exposure, PFOA and PFOS were measured in maternal blood samples from pregnancy week 30.
Multivariable linear regression analysis suggested that in utero exposure to PFOA was associated with lower adjusted sperm concentration (ptrend = 0.01) and total sperm count (ptrend = 0.001) and with higher adjusted levels of luteinizing hormone (ptrend = 0.03) and follicle-stimulating hormone (ptrend = 0.01). PFOS did not appear to be associated with any of the outcomes assessed, before or after adjustment.
The results suggest that in utero exposure to PFOA may affect adult human male semen quality and reproductive hormone levels.
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Sep 1;38(17):4489-9515461154
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Aug;112(11):1204-715289168
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent pollutants found to be endocrine disruptive and neurotoxic in animals. Positive correlations between PFASs and neurobehavioral problems in children were reported in cross-sectional data, but findings from prospective studies are limited.
We investigated whether prenatal exposure to PFASs is associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or childhood autism in children.
Among 83,389 mother-child pairs enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002, we identified 890 ADHD cases and 301 childhood autism cases from the Danish National Hospital Registry and the Danish Psychiatric Central Registry. From this cohort, we randomly selected 220 cases each of ADHD and autism, and we also randomly selected 550 controls frequency matched by child's sex. Sixteen PFASs were measured in maternal plasma collected in early or mid-pregnancy. We calculated risk ratios (RRs) using generalized linear models, taking into account sampling weights.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were detected in all samples; four other PFASs were quantified in = 90% of the samples. We did not find consistent evidence of associations between mother's PFAS plasma levels and ADHD [per natural log nanograms per milliliter increase: PFOS RR = 0.87 (95% CI: 0.74, 1.02); PFOA RR = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.82, 1.16)] or autism [per natural log nanograms per milliliter increase: PFOS RR = 0.92 (95% CI: 0.69, 1.22); PFOA RR = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.31)]. We found positive as well as negative associations between higher PFAS quartiles and ADHD in models that simultaneously adjusted for all PFASs, but these estimates were imprecise.
In this study we found no consistent evidence to suggest that prenatal PFAS exposure increases the risk of ADHD or childhood autism in children.
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Oct 1;45(19):8151-921682250
Cites: J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Feb;40(2):139-4819728067
Methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are ubiquitous and persistent environmental chemicals with known or suspected toxic effects on the nervous system and the immune system. Animal studies have shown that tissue damage can elicit production of autoantibodies. However, it is not known if autoantibodies similarly will be generated and detectable in humans following toxicant exposures. Therefore, we conducted a pilot study to investigate if autoantibodies specific for neural and non-neural antigens could be detected in children at age 7 years who have been exposed to environmental chemicals. Both prenatal and age-7 exposures to mercury, PCBs, and PFCs were measured in 38 children in the Faroe Islands who were exposed to widely different levels of these chemicals due to their seafood-based diet. Concentrations of IgM and IgG autoantibodies specific to both neural (neurofilaments, cholineacetyltransferase, astrocyte glial fibrillary acidic protein, and myelin basic protein) and non-neural (actin, desmin, and keratin) antigens were measured and the associations of these autoantibody concentrations with chemical exposures were assessed using linear regression. Age-7 blood-mercury concentrations were positively associated with titers of multiple neural- and non-neural-specific antibodies, mostly of the IgM isotype. Additionally, prenatal blood-mercury and -PCBs were negatively associated with anti-keratin IgG and prenatal PFOS was negatively associated with anti-actin IgG. These exploratory findings demonstrate that autoantibodies can be detected in the peripheral blood following exposure to environmental chemicals. The unexpected association of exposures with antibodies specific for non-neural antigens suggests that these chemicals may have toxicities that have not yet been recognized.
Cites: Exp Cell Res. 2004 Nov 15;301(1):1-715501438
Cites: J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007 Nov;70(21):1873-717934961
Perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) are widely used and have resulted in human exposures worldwide. PFASs occur in breast milk, and the duration of breastfeeding is associated with serum-PFAS concentrations in children. To determine the time-dependent impact of this exposure pathway, we examined the serum concentrations of five major PFASs in a Faroese birth cohort at birth, and at ages 11, 18, and 60 months. Information about the children's breastfeeding history was obtained from the mothers. The trajectory of serum-PFAS concentrations during months with and without breastfeeding was examined by linear mixed models that accounted for the correlations of the PFAS measurements for each child. The models were adjusted for confounders such as body size. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding was associated with increases of most PFAS concentrations by up to 30% per month, with lower increases during partial breast-feeding. In contrast to this main pattern, perfluorohexanesulfonate was not affected by breast-feeding. After cessation of breastfeeding, all serum concentrations decreased. This finding supports the evidence of breastfeeding being an important exposure pathway to some PFASs in infants.