Decline in perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate serum concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 to 2011

Toms, Leisa-Maree, Thompson, Jack, Rotander, Anna, Hobson, Peter, Calafat, Antonia M., Kato, Kayoko, Ye, X., Broomhall, Sara, Harden, Fiona, & Mueller, Jochen F. (2014) Decline in perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate serum concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 to 2011. Environment International, 71, pp. 74-80.

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Abstract

Some perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have become widespread pollutants detected in human and wildlife samples worldwide. The main objective of this study was to assess temporal trends of PFAS concentrations in human blood in Australia over the last decade (2002–2011), taking into consideration age and sex trends.

Pooled human sera from 2002/03 (n=26); 2008/09 (n=24) and 2010/11 (n=24) from South East Queensland, Australia were obtained from de-identified surplus pathology samples and compared with samples collected previously from 2006/07 (n=84). A total of 9775 samples in 158 pools were available for assessment of PFASs. Stratification criteria included sex and age: <16 years (2002/03 only); 0–4 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11); 5–15 (2006/07, 2008/09, 2010/11); 16–30; 31–45; 46–60; and >60 years (all collection periods). Sera were analyzed using on-line solid-phase extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography-isotope dilution-tandem mass spectrometry.

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was detected in the highest concentrations ranging from 5.3–19.2 ng/ml (2008/09) to 4.4–17.4 ng/ml (2010/11). Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) was detected in the next highest concentration ranging from 2.8–7.3 ng/ml (2008/09) to 3.1–6.5 ng/ml (2010/11). All other measured PFASs were detected at concentrations <1 ng/ml with the exception of perfluorohexane sulfonate which ranged from 1.2–5.7 ng/ml (08/09) and 1.4–5.4 ng/ml (10/11). The mean concentrations of both PFOS and PFOA in the 2010/11 period compared to 2002/03 were lower for all adult age groups by 56%. For 5-15 year olds, the decrease was 66% (PFOS) and 63% (PFOA) from 2002/03 to 2010/11. For 0-4 year olds the decrease from 2006/07 (when data were first available for this age group) was 50% (PFOS) and 22% (PFOA).

This study provides strong evidence for decreasing serum PFOS and PFOA concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 through 2011. Age trends were variable and concentrations were higher in males than females. Global use has been in decline since around 2002 and hence primary exposure levels are expected to be decreasing. Further biomonitoring will allow assessment of PFAS exposures to confirm trends in exposure as primary and eventually secondary sources are depleted.

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ID Code: 78642
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: biomonitoring, human blood serum, perfluoroalkyl, polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.05.019
ISSN: 0160-4120
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environment International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environment International, Volume 71, (October 2014), DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.05.019
Deposited On: 12 Nov 2014 23:24
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 10:41

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