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PFOS and PFOA in paired urine and blood from general adults and pregnant women: assessment of urinary elimination

Tao Zhang, Hongwen Sun, Xiaolei Qin, Zhiwei Gan, Kurunthachalam Kannan
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.7 pp. 5572-5579
blood, elderly, excretion, females, humans, males, perfluorocarbons, pregnant women, urine, young adults, China
Although levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in human blood are well documented, information on elimination of these chemicals is limited. In this study, PFOS and PFOA were analyzed in 81 whole blood–urine paired samples from general adults and pregnant women in Tianjin, China. PFOS and PFOA were detected in 48 and 76 % of adult urine (AU) samples, with geometric mean (GM) concentrations of 0.011 and 0.008 ng/mL, respectively; whereas relatively low PFOS and PFOA concentrations were found in maternal urine (MU) samples, with GM concentrations of 0.006 and 0.003 ng/mL, respectively. For PFOA, the coefficients of Pearson’s correlation between whole blood concentrations and creatinine-adjusted and creatinine-unadjusted urinary concentrations were 0.348 (p = 0.013) and 0.417 (p = 0.002), respectively. The GM urinary elimination rates of PFOS (PFOSUER) and PFOA (PFOAUER) were 16 and 25 %, respectively, for adults. These results indicate that urine is an important pathway of excretion of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The partitioning ratios of PFAS concentration between urine and whole blood (PFASU/B) in pregnant women (PFOSU/B, 0.0004; PFOAU/B, 0.0011) were significantly lower (p = 0.025 for PFOSU/B, p = 0.017 for PFOAU/B) than the ratios found in non-pregnant women (PFOSU/B, 0.0013; PFOAU/B, 0.0028). Furthermore, our results suggest a clear gender difference in the urinary elimination of PFOA, with male adults (31 %) having significantly higher PFOAUERthan that of female adults (19 %). PFOSUERwas significantly inversely correlated with age (r = −0.334, p = 0.015); these findings suggest that urinary elimination of PFOS is faster in young adults than in the elderly.