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Estimating human exposure to PFOS isomers and PFCA homologues: The relative importance of direct and indirect (precursor) exposure
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7035-8660
2015 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 74, 160-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contributions of direct and indirect (via precursors) pathways of human exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) isomers and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) are estimated using a Scenario-Based Risk Assessment (SceBRA) modelling approach. Monitoring data published since 2008 (including samples from 2007) are used. The estimated daily exposures (resulting from both direct and precursor intake) for the general adult population are highest for PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), followed by perfluorohexanoic add (PFHxA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), while lower daily exposures are estimated for perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoDA). The precursor contributions to the individual perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) daily exposures are estimated to be 11-33% for PFOS, 0.1-2.5% for PFBA, 3.7-34% for PFHxA, 13-64% for PFOA, 5.2-66% for PFDA, and 0.7-25% for PFDoDA (ranges represent estimated precursor contributions in a low- and high-exposure scenario). For PFOS, direct intake via diet is the major exposure pathway regardless of exposure scenario. For PFCAs, the dominant exposure pathway is dependent on perfluoroalkyl chain length and exposure scenario. Modelled PFOS and PFOA concentrations in human serum using the estimated intakes from an intermediate-exposure scenario are in agreement with measured concentrations in different populations. The isomer pattern of PFOS resulting from total intakes (direct and via precursors) is estimated to be enriched with linear PFOS (84%) relative to technical PFOS (70% linear). This finding appears to be contradictory to the observed enrichment of branched PFOS isomers in recent human serum monitoring studies and suggests that either external exposure is not fully understood (e.g. there are unknown precursors, missing or poorly quantified exposure pathways) and/or that there is an incomplete understanding of the isomer-specific human pharmacokinetic processes of PFOS, its precursors and intermediates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 74, 160-169 p.
Keyword [en]
PFOS isomers, Perfluoroallcyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs), Precursors, Polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), Human exposure
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113222DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.10.013ISI: 000346681700020OAI: diva2:791342


Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-01-26 Last updated: 2015-02-27Bibliographically approved

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Gebbink, Wouter A.Berger, UrsCousins, Ian T.
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