Perfluoroalkyl Substances in the Urine and Hair of Preschool Children, Airborne Particles in Kindergartens, and Drinking Water in Hong Kong

By Li, Na, Guang-Guo Ying, Huachang Hong, and Wen-Jing Deng
Env Poll
December 15, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116219

Seven perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances (PFASs), namely perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and perfluoro-1,10-decanedicarboxylic acid (PFDDA), were evaluated in urine and hair samples from children (age: 4–6 years, N = 53), airborne particles sampled at 17 kindergartens, and tap water and bottled water samples. All samples were collected in Hong Kong. The analytical results suggested widespread PFAS contamination. All target PFASs were detected in at least 32% of urine samples, with geometric mean (GM) concentrations ranging from 0.18 to 2.97 ng/L, and in 100% of drinking water samples at GM concentrations of 0.18–21.1 ng/L. Although PFOS and PFDDA were not detected in hair or air samples, the other target PFASs were detected in 48–70% of hair samples (GM concentrations: 2.40–233 pg/g) and 100% of air samples (GM concentrations: 14.8–536.7 pg/m3). In summary, the highest PFAS concentrations were detected in airborne particles measured in kindergartens. PFOA was the major PFAS detected in hair, urine, and drinking water samples, while PFOA, PFDA, and PFHpA were dominant in airborne particles. Although a significant difference in PFAS concentrations in hair samples was observed between boys and girls (p < .05), no significant sex-related difference in urinary PFAS or paired PFAS (hair/urine) concentrations was observed.


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