PFAS concentrations in plasma samples from Danish school children and their mothers

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are accumulating in our environment and human exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals are of growing concern. In the present study, 116 children aged 6-11 and 143 mothers in two locations in Denmark donated blood samples as a supplement to their participation in the large European human biomonitoring project, DEMOCOPHES (Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale). The blood samples were analysed by LC-MS/MS for the concentration of six PFASs: PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA, PFDA, br-PFOS and n-PFOS. All measured compounds were above the detection limit in both mothers and children except for PFHxS in one child. There was a significant correlation between the levels in children and their mothers, indicating a family-related exposure pattern. However, we also found that the levels of PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, br-PFOS and total-PFOS were significantly higher in children compared to their mothers. This may be due to higher exposure in children through for example dust and soil, and due to the fact that children are smaller in body size and blood volume and hence have a lower storage capacity. Furthermore, the authors found an association between plasma levels and the age of the mothers and higher levels of plasma PFASs in mothers with low parity. There were no associations between PFAS concentrations and residential area, dietary habits of the participants or with respect to the birth order of the children. The levels are comparable to concentrations found in other Western countries.

Authors: Mørck TA, Nielsen F, Nielsen JK, Siersma VD, Grandjean P, Knudsen LE. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2014 Aug 18. pii: S0045-6535(14)00868-6. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.07.018. [Epub ahead of print] ;