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Early life exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs): A critical review
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2097-5422
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
2017 (English)In: Emerging Contaminants, ISSN 2405-6650, E-ISSN 2405-6642, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 55-68Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the dynamic developmental processes during pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence, exposure to PFASs is hypothesized to have the most pronounced negative effects during this period. In this review we critically evaluate the current state of the science regarding human early life exposure processes (until 18 years of age) to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Efficient placental transfer of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) results in relatively high prenatal exposure compared with many neutral organic contaminants. The few biomonitoring studies that specifically target infants, toddlers and other children suggest relatively high serum concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in early life with peak concentrations occurring sometime before the child reaches 20 months. This peak in serum concentrations is most likely explained by exposure via breastfeeding, ingestion of house dust and/or specific contact events with consumer products leading to high body weight normalized estimated daily intakes (EDIs). Although children have higher EDIs of PFASs than adults, these are not always reflected by higher serum levels of PFASs in children in cross-sectional biomonitoring studies due to the confounding effect of age and birth cohort, and different exposure histories due to production changes. Longitudinal exposure studies measuring internal and external exposure (for multiple pathways and PFASs) at several time points during early life are strongly encouraged to understand temporal changes in exposure of individual children. A better quantitative understanding of early life exposure processes would help to improve the validity of epidemiological studies and allow informed decisions regarding setting of regulatory thresholds and appropriate mitigation actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 3, no 2, p. 55-68
Keywords [en]
child, childhood, early life stage, human, exposure, PFAS, PFOS, PFOA
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151596DOI: 10.1016/j.emcon.2017.05.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151596DiVA, id: diva2:1174574
Available from: 2018-01-16 Created: 2018-01-16 Last updated: 2018-01-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Estimating children’s exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Estimating children’s exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are highly stable, surface active chemicals, which are water- and oil/stain-repellent. Because of their unique properties, PFASs are widely used in consumer products. Their application ranges from personal-care products, food packaging and textiles to interior materials, thus leading to a continuous human exposure to PFASs in every-day life. Possible exposure pathways are the ingestion of food, drinking water and dust; the inhalation of fine dust and air; as well as dermal absorption after contact with the products and dust.

Despite the increasing number of monitoring studies, including measurement of concentrations in human exposure media and blood, childhood exposure is poorly understood.

The state of current knowledge on childhood exposure was investigated in paper I, by reviewing existing PFAS literature on exposure media, on daily intakes via different exposure pathways and on levels in blood and serum. Subsequently, recommendations for future research needs were made and implications presented on the regulation and assessment of PFASs. For paper II, III and IV, a cohort of background-exposed Finnish children was followed throughout childhood. Indoor air and floor dust samples of their bedrooms were taken at the age of 10.5 years in 2014/2015 and analysed for a wide range of PFASs (paper II and III). The estimated daily intakes (EDIs) via these two media were calculated in paper III. The EDIs revealed that dust ingestion and air inhalation are of similar importance for the intake of single perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAA), if the metabolism of PFAA precursors to PFAAs was included. The metabolism of precursors contributed considerably to the total intake of PFAAs via the inhalation of air (e.g. 38 % for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 90 % for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)) and to the total intake of PFOS via the ingestion of dust (69 %; median values at the intermediate exposure scenario). In paper IV, the internal exposure during childhood was monitored by measuring serum concentrations, which were decreasing with age; and by calculating body burdens at 1, 6 and 10.5 years of age, which were constant or increasing, depending on the respective PFAS. These results demonstrated that it is crucial to account for growth dilution when studying exposure trends and PFAS intakes during childhood.

This thesis contributes to a better understanding of children’s exposure to PFASs, especially the internal exposure during childhood and the relative importance of both, indoor exposure pathways, as well as individual PFASs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES), Stockholm University, 2018. p. 46
Keywords
PFAS, PFAA, fluorinated, fluorotelomer, FTOH, PAP, early life, child, human, exposure, intake, indoor, bedroom, air, dust, serum
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-152208 (URN)978-91-7797-110-8 (ISBN)978-91-7797-111-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-16, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-02-21 Created: 2018-01-29 Last updated: 2018-03-12Bibliographically approved

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