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Circulating Maternal Perfluoroalkyl Substances during Pregnancy in the C8 Health Study
- Javins, Beth, Hobbs, Gerald, Ducatman, Alan M., Pilkerton, Courtney, Tacker, Danyel, Knox, Sarah S.
- Environmental Science & Technology 2013 v.47 no.3 pp. 1606-1613
- analysis of variance, blood, drinking water, fetal development, humans, industrial wastes, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid, pregnancy, pregnant women, progeny
- Perfluoroalkyl substances are manmade chemicals used in many consumer products and have become ubiquitous in the environment. Animal studies and a limited number of human studies have demonstrated developmental effects in offspring exposed to perfluoroalkyl substances in utero, but the implications of timing of in utero exposure have not been systematically investigated. The present study investigated variation in perfluorocarbon levels of 9952 women of childbearing age who had been exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water contaminated by industrial waste. An analysis of variance with contrast was performed to compare the levels of PFOA and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in pregnant and nonpregnant women overall and during each trimester of pregnancy. We found that pregnant women had lower circulating PFOA and PFOS concentrations in peripheral blood than nonpregnant women and that PFOA levels were consistently lower throughout all trimesters for pregnancy, suggesting transfer to the fetus at an early stage of gestation. These results are discussed in the context of the endocrine-disrupting properties of perfluoroalkyl substances that have been characterized in animal and human studies. Our conclusion is that further, systematic study of the potential implications of intrauterine perfluorocarbon exposure during critical periods of fetal development is urgently needed.