Maternal serum concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and their predictors in years with reduced production and use

Vivian Berg, Therese Haugdal Nøst, Charlotta Rylander, Solrunn Hansen, Anna Sofía Veyhe, Ole Martin Fuskevåg, Jon Øyvind Odland, Torkjel Manning Sandanger

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Determining maternal concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and the relative impact of various demographic and dietary predictors is important for assessing fetal exposure and for developing proper lifestyle advisories for pregnant women. This study was conducted to investigate maternal PFAS concentrations and their predictors in years when the production and use of several PFASs declined, and to assess the relative importance of significant predictors. Blood from 391 pregnant women participating in The Northern Norway Mother-and-Child Contaminant Cohort Study (MISA) was collected in the period 2007-2009 and serum analyses of 26 PFASs were conducted. Associations between PFAS concentrations, sampling date, and demographic and dietary variables were evaluated by multivariate analyses and linear models including relevant covariates. Parity was the strongest significant predictor for all the investigated PFASs, and nulliparous women had higher concentrations compared to multiparous women (10 ng/mL versus 4.5 ng/mL in median PFOS, respectively). Serum concentrations of PFOS and PFOA of women recruited day 1-100 were 25% and 26% higher, respectively, compared to those women recruited in the last 167 days of the study (day 601-867), and the concentrations of PFNA, PFDA and PFUnDA increased with age. Dietary predictors explained 0-17% of the variation in concentrations for the different PFASs. Significantly elevated concentrations of PFOS, PFNA, PFDA and PFUnDA were found among high consumers of marine food. The concentrations of PFHxS, PFHpS and PFNA were also increased in high consumers of game and elevated concentrations of PFHpS and PFOS were detected in high consumers of white meat. Study subjects with a high intake of salty snacks and beef had significantly higher concentrations of PFOA. The present study demonstrates that parity, sampling date and birth year are the most important predictors for maternal PFAS concentrations in years following a decrease in production and use of several PFASs. Further, dietary predictors of PFAS concentrations were identified and varied in importance according to compound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-66
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Lactation
  • Parity
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • Pregnant women
  • Sampling date
  • Study period


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