Predicting Exposure to Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) among US Infants
By Andrea B. Kirk, Kelsey Marie Plasse, Karli C. Kirk, Clyde F. Martin, and Gamze Ozsoy
Int J Environ Res Public Health.
July 9, 2022
PFASs have been detected in nearly every serum sample collected over the last two decades from US adults as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and are commonly found in other data sets from around the world. However, less is known about infant PFAS exposures, primarily because the collection of infant serum samples is less common and frequently avoided. Cord blood samples are often preferred for chemical exposure assessments because this is thought to provide a good representation of infant serum concentrations, at least at the time of birth. In this paper, we will provide a statistical and probabilistic analysis of what can be expected for infants living in the US using NHANES from 2007 to 2008, which contains a rare subset of infant data. Regulatory efforts that require estimation of exposures among the very youth can be challenging, both because of a lack of data in general and because variability among this most vulnerable population can be uncertain. We report that US infant exposures are extremely common and that serum concentrations remain fairly constant, despite infant growth rates and relatively high caloric and fluid intake, with the possible exception of PFOS. Infant serum PFOS concentrations between months 1 and 3 are consistently higher than at less than one month, even though healthy infants at 1 and 2 months weigh more than they did at birth. This suggests that the babies are exposed to greater concentrations of PFOS after birth or that excretion kinetics differ for this PFAS.
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