Perfluorinated Substances in Human Food and Other Sources of Human Exposure

Laboratory for Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium.
Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology (Impact Factor: 3.74). 09/2010; 208:179-215. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-6880-7_4
Source: PubMed


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants, which persist and may bioaccumulate through the food chain (Haukås et al. 2007; Martin et al. 2004b; Taniyasu et al. 2003). As a consequence, several PFCs have been detected in different biota worldwide. In recent years, an increasing number of papers report high levels of PFCs in blood, tissues, and breast milk from both occupationally and non-occupationally exposed human populations (Kannan et al. 2004; Kärrman et al. 2007; Olsen et al. 2007). The most important exposure pathways of perfluorinated compounds for humans are thought to be intake of drinking water and food and inhalation of dust (Björklund et al. 2009; Ericson et al. 2008a). Due to the widespread distribution, environmental degradation, and metabolism of the PFCs released into the environment, a very complex exposure situation exists (Fromme et al. 2007a). As a result, the relative contribution to human exposure from different routes or from a single source (e.g., diet) is not yet known. More specifically, it is currently unknown as to what extent exposure to drinking water, food, or dust contributes to the PFCs measured in human breast milk and blood. Moreover, data on levels of PFCs in the human diet are rather scarce (Kärrman et al. 2009; Tittlemier et al. 2006, 2007). Only PFC levels in fish appear to be well documented (Houde et al. 2006). Few studies, however, report the levels of PFCs in drinking water or human food such as vegetables, meat, and eggs (FSA 2006; US EPA 2001). Food processing such as cooking (boiling, baking, or grilling) could alter the concentration of PFCs in food and as a consequence affect the risk for humans.

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    • "Due to the ubiquity of exposure and multiple pathways for contact with PFASs, it is also difficult to determine the relative contribution of different exposure sources to an individual's body burden[33]. Diet, particularly ingestion of animal fats, meat, and snack foods (e.g., microwave popcorn), is an established and primary source of PFAS exposure[33,34]. Ingestion of contaminated food may result in simultaneous increases in caloric intake, leading to gestational weight gain and its association with maternal PFOA levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are ubiquitous, persistent pollutants widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods. There is a limited body of literature suggesting that these chemicals may alter metabolic pathways and growth trajectories. The relationship between prenatal exposures to these chemicals and gestational weight gain (GWG) has received limited attention. One objective was to analyze the associations among maternal plasma levels of three common perfluoroalkyl substances (perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexanesulfanoate (PFHxS)) and GWG. Additionally, we explored whetherGWGwas associated with cord blood PFAS levels. This study utilized data collected in the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, a trans-Canada cohort study of 2001 pregnant women. Our analysis quantified associations between (1) maternal PFAS concentrations and GWG and (2) GWG and cord blood PFAS concentrations. Maternal PFOS concentrations were positively associated with GWG (b = 0.39 95% CI: 0.02, 0.75). Interquartile increases in GWG were significantly associated with elevated cord blood PFOA (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.56) and PFOS (OR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.40) concentrations. No statistically significant associations were observed between GWG and either measure of PFHxS. These findings warrant elucidation of the potential underlying mechanisms.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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    • "carpets and ingestion of dust, resulting in higher PFC serum levels found in children than in adults [14] [18] [19]. In utero and postnatal exposure is of particular concern and PFCs are capable of traversing the placental barrier, thus exposing the fetus in utero [9,20– 22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Xenobiotic exposure during pregnancy is inevitable. Determination of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), chemicals described as environmental contaminants by Public Health Authorities due to their persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity, is a challenge. In the present work, a method based on a simplified sample treatment involving freeze–drying, solvent extraction and dispersive clean-up of the extracts using C18 sorbents followed by an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–MS/MS) analysis was developed and validated for the determination of five perfluorinated carboxylic acids (C4–C8) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in placental tissue samples. The most influential parameters affecting the extraction method and clean-up were optimized using Design of Experiments (DOE). The method was validated using matrix-matched calibration. Found limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.03 to 2 ng g−1 and limits of quantification (LOQs) from 0.08 to 6 ng g−1, while inter- and intra-day variability was under 14% in all cases. Recovery rates for spiked samples ranged from 94% to 113%. The method was satisfactorily applied for the determination of compounds in human placental tissue samples collected at delivery from 25 randomly selected women.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Talanta
    • "Despite consistent results from these two Danish studies, results from studies examining dietary habits in relation to serum PFAA concentrations have been relatively conflicting (Domingo, 2012) with the exception of seafood being in some studies reported as potential source of exposure (Berg et al., 2014; Falandysz et al., 2006; Haug et al., 2010b). Trace levels of PFAAs, particularly PFOS, have also consistently been found in seafood (D'Hollander et al., 2010), while results for other food items have been less consistent (Haug et al., 2010a; Vestergren et al., 2012). It is however well established that PFAAs can enter the food chain trough indirect contamination via leakage from food packaging material (D'eon and Mabury, 2011; Zafeiraki et al., 2014) and this may potentially account for the association we observe for meat and meat products in our study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have consistently been associated with higher cholesterol levels in cross sectional studies. Concerns have, however, been raised about potential confounding by diet and clinical relevance. Objective: To examine the association between concentrations of PFOS and PFOA and total cholesterol in serum during pregnancy taking into considerations confounding by diet. Methods: 854 Danish women who gave birth in 1988-89 and provided a blood sample and reported their diet in week 30 of gestation. Results: Mean serum PFOS, PFOA and total cholesterol concentrations were 22.3ng/mL, 4.1ng/mL and 7.3mmol/L, respectively. Maternal diet was a significant predictor of serum PFOS and PFOA concentrations. In particular intake of meat and meat products was positively associated while intake of vegetables was inversely associated (P for trend <0.01) with relative difference between the highest and lowest quartile in PFOS and PFOA concentrations ranging between 6% and 25% of mean values. After adjustment for dietary factors both PFOA and PFOS were positively and similarly associated with serum cholesterol (P for trend ≤0.01). For example, the mean increase in serum cholesterol was 0.39mmol/L (95%CI: 0.09, 0.68) when comparing women in the highest to lowest quintile of PFOA concentrations. In comparison the mean increase in serum cholesterol was 0.61mmol/L (95%CI: 0.17, 1.05) when comparing women in the highest to lowest quintile of saturated fat intake. Conclusion: In this study associations between PFOS and PFOA with serum cholesterol appeared unrelated to dietary intake and were similar in magnitude as the associations between saturated fat intake and serum cholesterol.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Environmental Research
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