Profiling of emerging and legacy per-/polyfluoroalkyl substances in serum among pregnant women in China

By Liu, Jiaying, Xueyan Gao, Yuxin Wang, Junhong Leng, Jingguang Li, Yunfeng Zhao, and Yongning Wu
Env. Poll.
December 29, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116376

Emerging per-/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), such as chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonates (Cl-PFESAs), have been detected in human samples, yet investigation on their occurrence in pregnant women remains limited. Herein, ten legacy PFASs, branched perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), two Cl-PFESAs, perfluoro-2-propoxypropanoic acid (HFPO-DA), and ammonium 4,8-dioxa-3H-perfluorononanoate (ADONA) were detected in serum samples from 480 pregnant women in Tianjin, China. The influencing effects of age, body mass index, gravidity, and parity were also evaluated. PFOS [geographic mean (GM): 7.05 ng/mL], 6:2Cl-PFESA (GM: 5.31 ng/mL), and PFOA (GM: 2.82 ng/mL) were the dominant PFASs in the serum of pregnant women, while neither HFPO-DA nor ADONA was detectable in any serum. The serum concentration of Cl-PFESAs and 6:2Cl-PFESA/PFOS ratio in the present study were 2–5 times higher than that in previous studies of pregnant women in China. Serum concentrations of Cl-PFESAs were significantly correlated with all detected PFAAs (Spearman’s Rho: 0.15–0.69, p < 0.01) excepting perfluoropentanesulfonate (PFPeS), indicating common exposure sources for Cl-PFESAs and PFAAs and some particular exposure source for PFPeS. Younger age and multi-parity were associated with lower serum concentrations of PFOS and several perfluoroalkyl sulfonates but not associated with Cl-PFESAs or PFOA, suggesting an increasing exposure to Cl-PFESAs and PFOA which neutralized the impact of age and parity. Overall, this study indicated a relatively high exposure level and composition of 6:2Cl-PFESA in pregnant women in the north coast of China, which highlights the need to investigate the exposure sources in this area.


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