Transplacental Transfer of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Identified in Paired Maternal and Cord Sera Using Suspect and Non-Target Screening
By Yuqian Li, Nanyang Yu, Letian Du, Wei Shi, Hongxia Yu, Maoyong Song, and Si Wei
Environ. Sci. Technol.
February 12, 2020
Novel per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in various environmental media have attracted increasing attention; however, the information regarding PFASs exposure in pregnant women and fetuses is insufficient. In this study, we built and applied suspect and non-target screening strategies based on the mass difference of the CF2, CF2O, and CH2CF2 units to select potential novel PFASs from 117 paired maternal and cord sera. In total, 10 legacy PFASs and 19 novel PFASs from 10 classes were identified to be above confidence levels 3, among which 14 were not previously reported in human serum. Novel PFASs accounted for a considerable percentage of total PFASs in pregnant women and can be transferred to fetuses at non-negligible concentrations (i.e. 27.9% and 30.3% of total PFAS intensities in maternal and cord sera, respectively). The transplacental transfer efficiency (TTE) of PFASs showed a U-shape trend in the series of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs), perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and unsaturated perfluorinated alcohols (UPFAs). The TTE of novel PFASs is suggested to be structure-dependent, based on a flexible docking experiment. This study provides a comprehensive TTE information of legacy and novel PFASs for the first time, and additional toxicity studies are needed to evaluate the risk of novel PFASs further.