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Biological wampling of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the vicinity of Lawrence, Morgan, and Limestone Counties, Alabama : exposure investigation
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  • Description:
    In the past ATSDR has referred to this class of chemicals as “perfluorinated compounds” or “PFCs.” In an effort to be more precise, ATSDR now uses the “per- and polyfuoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS."

    In January and February 2016, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) collected blood and urine samples from 45 people from Morgan, Lawrence, and Limestone Counties, Alabama who previously participated in a 2010 Exposure Investigation (EI). This investigation:

    • Provided a public health service to the community: The investigation provided information to community members about their body burden of per‐ and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including an assessment of how their PFAS‐serum concentrations compare to national reference populations. Participants also learned how their current serum concentrations compare to those measured in 2010.

    • Generated hypotheses regarding pathways of exposures in the community: Each individual participant received an interpretation of what their biomonitoring results suggest about how they are being exposed, and whether sources of PFAS exposure other than drinking water may exist. ATSDR recommended actions to further reduce exposure as appropriate.

    • Advanced the scientific understanding of the pharmacokinetics of PFAS in humans: Very few estimates of biological half‐life for PFAS exist in the scientific literature. This investigation generated the data necessary to calculate biological half‐life for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS). ATSDR will analyze this data and report the resulting estimates of biological half‐life separately.


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