PFOS and PFOA are polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs)—ubiquitous man-made chemicals used in a variety of consumer products, including as a protective coating on food-contact packaging, textiles and carpets, and in the manufacturing of insecticides. The health impact from exposure to these compounds is not fully known, but previous studies found these compounds could cause tumors and developmental toxicity in laboratory animals at doses much higher than those observed in the Hopkins study.
The analysis conducted in Baltimore, Md., detected PFOS in 99 percent of the infant samples examined and PFOA in 100 percent of those examined. The results are published in the April 20, 2007, online edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Some of the study’s findings were previously reported at the Society of Toxicology workshop held in February and at the International Conference on Environmental Epidemiology and Exposure held last September.
“When we began this research we weren’t sure what we would find, because previously there was very little information about fetal exposure to PFOS and PFOA. Even though these chemicals are not bioaccumulative in fat, they are very persistent, which probably accounts for their presence in nearly every newborn,” said Benjamin Apelberg, PhD, lead author of the study and a research associate in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. Apelberg conducted this work as part of his doctoral research.
The researchers analyzed cord serum from 299 newborns delivered at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore between 2004 and 2005. The samples were tested for the presence of PFOS and PFOA and eight other polyfluoroalkyl compounds. PFOA was detected in all of the samples and PFOS in all but two of the samples. The concentrations for both compounds were lower than those typically detected in adults in the United States and lower than those known to cause tumors and developmental problems in laboratory animals; more study is needed to understand health effects at these lower exposure levels.
PFOS concentrations were slightly higher in Black and Asian infants compared to White infants, but no correlation was found between concentrations and the mother’s socioeconomic status, age, education, marital status or whether she lived within the city limits or not. In addition, the researchers found a strong correlation between concentrations of PFOS and PFOA even though the compounds come from different industrial sources. The finding suggests that humans may be exposed to both chemicals in a similar manner.
“This study confirms that, as we might have suspected, exposure to PFOS and PFOA is fairly universal; this is of particular concern because of the potential toxicity, especially developmental toxicity, for these chemicals and the lack of information about health risks at these exposure levels. What was surprising is how strongly they are associated with each other, given that they have very different uses. We will need additional research to understand how exposures are occurring in this region,” said Lynn Goldman, MD, co-author of the study and a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Addition study authors include Antonia M. Calafat, Julie B. Herbstman, Zsuzsanna Kuklenyik, Jochen Heidler, Larry Needham, Rolf U. Halden and Frank Witter. Heidler and Halden are with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Herbstman, formerly a doctoral student in epidemiology at the JHSPH is now at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Witter is with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Calafat, Kuklenyik and Needham are with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research was supported by funding from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Maryland Mothers and Babies Study, the Cigarette Restitution Fund, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and the Heinz Foundation.
Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or email@example.com.
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News