Exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances in early pregnancy and risk of sporadic first trimester miscarriage

2021-02-11

Many first trimester sporadic miscarriages are unexplained and the role of environmental exposures is unknown. The present aim was to study if levels of Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in early pregnancy are associated with unexplained, sporadic first trimester miscarriage. The study was performed within the Swedish SELMA pregnancy cohort. Seventy-eight women with non-recurrent first trimester miscarriage were included and 1449 women were available as live birth controls. Eight PFASs were measured in first trimester serum. A doubling of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposure, corresponding to an inter-quartile increase, was associated with an odds ratio (95%CI) for miscarriage of 1.48 (1.09-2.01) when adjusting for parity, age and smoking. Analyses per quartiles of PFOA exposure indicated a monotonic dose response association with miscarriage. A similar, but not significant, pattern was observed for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA). For other PFAS, there were no associations with miscarriage. We have previously shown associations between early pregnancy PFAS exposures and preeclampsia, as well as lower birth weight. Now we report an association between PFOA and miscarriage within the same cohort, which may suggest shared but unknown mechanisms. The study can only represent a period of early placentation and clinical pregnancy loss during the second half of the first trimester.

Parabens for which the molecules contain hydrolytic and ionizable groups, are emerging pollutants due to their ubiquity in the environment. However, lack of pKa and second-order base-catalyzed hydrolysis kinetics (kB) values limits their environmental persistence assessment. Herein, six parabens were selected as reference compounds for which the pKa and kB values were measured experimentally. A semiempirical quantum chemical (QC) method was selected to calculate pKa of the parabens, and density functional theory (DFT) methods were selected to calculate kB for neutral and anionic forms of the parabens, by comparing the QC-calculated and determined values. Combining the QC-calculated and experimental pKa and kB values, quantitative structure-activity relationships with determination coefficients (R2) being 0.947 and 0.842 for the pKa and kB models, respectively, were developed, which were validated and could be employed to efficiently fill the kB and pKa data gaps of parabens within applicability domains. The base-catalyzed hydrolysis half-lives were estimated to range from 6 h to 1.52 × 106 years (pH 7-9, 25 °C), further necessitating the in silico models due to the tedious and onerous experimental determination, and the huge number of hydrolyzable and ionizable chemicals that may be released into the environment.

Authors: Sverre Wikström, Ghada Hussein, Annika Lingroth Karlsson, Christian H Lindh, Carl-Gustaf Bornehag
; Full Source: Scientific reports 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3568. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82748-6.
; Authors: Tong Xu, Jingwen Chen, Xi Chen, Huaijun Xie, Zhongyu Wang, Deming Xia, Weihao Tang, Hong-Bin Xie
; Full Source: Environmental science & technology 2021 Feb 10. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c06891.