Decline in perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate serum concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 to 2011
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Decline in perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate serum concentrations in an Australian population from 2002 to 2011
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  • Alternative Title:
    Environ Int
  • Description:
    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 an 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 in 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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