Diet and particularly seafood are major sources of perfluorinated compounds in humans

Environ Int. 2010 Oct;36(7):772-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.05.016. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Commercially used perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been widely detected in wildlife and humans, but the sources of human exposure are not fully characterized. The objectives of this study were to explore possible associations between concentrations of PFCs in serum and consumption of food with particular focus on seafood, and to compare estimated dietary intakes with determined serum PFC concentrations. Concentrations of 19 PFCs were determined in serum from 175 participants in the Norwegian Fish and Game Study and evaluated with respect to food consumption using multiple linear regression analysis. Associations between estimated individual total dietary intakes of PFCs and serum concentrations were also explored. PFC concentrations in serum were significantly associated (p<0.05) with the consumption of lean fish, fish liver, shrimps and meat, as well as age, breastfeeding history and area of residence (R(2) 0.35-0.63). The estimated dietary intakes of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) were 0.60, 0.34 and 1.5 ng/kg body weight/day, respectively. Seafood (fish and shellfish) was the major dietary source contributing 38% of the estimated dietary intakes of PFOA, 93% of PFUnDA and 81% of PFOS. The estimated dietary intakes of these three selected PFCs were significantly associated with the corresponding serum PFC concentrations (p<0.05). In conclusion, our results show that consumption of fish and shellfish is a major determinant of serum PFC concentrations. Further, significant relationships between estimated dietary intakes and serum concentrations have been demonstrated for the first time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seafood / statistics & numerical data*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated