Determinants of plasma PFOA and PFOS levels among 652 Danish men

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Oct 1;45(19):8137-43. doi: 10.1021/es100626h. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are used in a variety of industrial and consumer products and have been detected worldwide in human blood. The sources for human exposure are not well described, but dietary intake is suggested as an important source. In this study of 652 Danish men from the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort, we examined intake of 10 major dietary groups, tap water drinks, alcohol consumption, cooking method, geographical area, age, smoking status, and BMI as potential determinants of PFOA and PFOS plasma levels. Living in the Aarhus area was associated with higher PFOA and PFOS plasma levels compared with living in the Copenhagen area, and never smokers had higher levels than current smokers. Frying as compared with other cooking methods was a determinant of PFOA and PFOS levels. BMI and alcohol consumption were inversely associated with both compounds. Among the dietary groups, only intake of eggs was significantly positively associated with PFOS plasma levels. In future studies, PFOA and PFOS levels in air, dust and water samples should be measured to elucidate further the sources of exposure; exposure through diet needs to be studied in greater detail. Our finding of a higher body burden of PFOA and PFOS among never smokers also warrants further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Caprylates / blood*
  • Denmark
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid