Polyfluorinated Compounds in Serum Linked to Indoor Air in Office Environments

This study investigated the role of indoor office air on exposure to polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) among office workers. Week-long, active air sampling was conducted during the winter of 2009 in 31 offices in Boston, Massachusetts. Air samples were analysed for fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs), sulfonamides (FOSAs), and sulfonamidoethanols (FOSEs). Serum was collected from each participant (n ) 31) and analysed for 12 PFCs including PFOA and PFOS. In air, FTOHs were present in the highest concentrations, particularly 8:2-FTOH (GM ) 9920 pg/m3). FTOHs varied significantly by building with the highest levels observed in a newly constructed building. PFOA in serum was significantly correlated with air levels of 6:2-FTOH (r ) 0.43), 8:2-FTOH (r ) 0.60), and 10:2-FTOH (r ) 0.62). Collectively, FTOHs in air significantly predicted PFOA in serum (p < 0.001) and explained approximately 36% of the variation in serum PFOA concentrations. PFOS in serum was not associated with air levels of FOSAs/FOSEs. The authors concluded that the findings show that FTOH concentrations in office air significantly predict serum PFOA concentrations in office workers. Variation in PFC air concentrations by building is likely due to differences in the number, type, and age of potential sources such as carpeting, furniture, and/or paint.

Authors: Fraser, Alicia J.; Webster, Thomas F.; Watkins, Deborah J.; Nelson, Jessica W.; Stapleton, Heather M.; Calafat, Antonia M.; Kato, Kayoko; Shoeib, Mahiba; Vieira, Veronica M.; McClean, Michael D. ;Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology [online computer file] 2012, 46(2), 1209-1215 (Eng) ;