Prenatal exposure and transplacental transfer of perfluoroalkyl substance isomers in participants from the upper and lower reaches of the Yangtze River

By Yingxue Liu, Kai Liu, Ping Zheng, Shanshan Yin, Hangbiao Jin, Xiaoxia Bai, Yongqing Li, Jingxian Zheng, Yishuang Dai, Meirong Zhao, and Weiping Liu
Environ Pollut
December 22, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116202

Data on gestational exposure characteristics and transplacental transfer are quite limited for perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) isomers, especially those from large-scale comparative studies. To fill this gap, we examined isomers of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) in matched maternal and cord serum from Mianyang and Hangzhou, which are located in the upper and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China, respectively. These data were compared with those from our previous study on Wuhan in the middle reach. The average ΣPFAS concentration increased from upstream to downstream (Mianyang (4.44 ng/mL) < Wuhan (9.88 ng/mL) < Hangzhou (19.72 ng/mL)) and may be related to the per capita consumption expenditure of each city. The ln-transformed PFAS concentrations showed significant differences between Mianyang and Hangzhou after adjusting confounding factors (p < 0.05). The percentages of linear PFOS and PFOA in maternal and cord serum from these cities all exceeded those in electrochemical fluorination products. The isomer profiles of PFASs in maternal and cord serum might be greatly influenced by local production processes of PFASs and residents' dietary habits. The transplacental transfer efficiencies decreased significantly with increasing concentrations in maternal serum for ΣPFAS, ΣPFOS, ΣPFOA, ΣPFHxS, n-PFOS, iso-PFOS, 4m-PFOS, 1m-PFOS, n-PFOA, n-PFHxS, and br-PFHxS (Spearman rank correlation coefficients (r) = 0.373-0.687, p < 0.01). These findings support an understanding of the regional characteristics in maternal exposure to PFASs along the Yangtze River, isomeric profiles of PFASs in these regions, and the transplacental transfer processes of PFAS isomers.

View on PubMed