Half-lives of PFOS, PFHxS and PFOA after end of exposure to contaminated drinking water

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Municipal drinking water contaminated with perfluorinated alkyl acids had been distributed to one-third of households in Ronneby, Sweden. The source was firefighting foam used in a nearby airfield since the mid-1980s. Clean water was provided from 16 December 2013.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates of decline in serum perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and their corresponding half-lives.

METHODS: Up to seven blood samples were collected between June 2014 and September 2016 from 106 participants (age 4-84 years, 53% female).

RESULTS: Median initial serum concentrations were PFHxS, 277 ng/mL (range 12-1660); PFOS, 345 ng/mL (range 24-1500); and PFOA, 18 ng/mL (range 2.4-92). The covariate-adjusted average rates of decrease in serum were PFHxS, 13% per year (95% CI 12% to 15%); PFOS, 20% per year (95% CI 19% to 22%); and PFOA, 26% per year (95% CI 24% to 28%). The observed data are consistent with a first-order elimination model. The mean estimated half-life was 5.3 years (95% CI 4.6 to 6.0) for PFHxS, 3.4 years (95% CI 3.1 to 3.7) for PFOS and 2.7 years (95% CI 2.5 to 2.9) for PFOA. The interindividual variation of half-life was around threefold when comparing the 5th and 95th percentiles. There was a marked sex difference with more rapid elimination in women for PFHxS and PFOS, but only marginally for PFOA.

CONCLUSIONS: The estimated half-life for PFHxS was considerably longer than for PFOS and PFOA. For PFHxS and PFOS, the average half-life is shorter than the previously published estimates. For PFOA the half-life is in line with the range of published estimates.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alkanesulfonic Acids, Caprylates, Child, Child, Preschool, Drinking Water, Environmental Exposure, Female, Fluorocarbons, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Sex Factors, Sulfonic Acids, Sweden, Water Pollutants, Chemical, Water Quality, Water Supply, Young Adult, Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume75
Issue number1
Early online date2017 Nov 13
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes