Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are used in large quantities. They are persistent and found in measurable levels in human serum around the world. They have been associated with developmental, hepatic, and carcinogenic effects in animal studies. The aim of the present study was to describe levels of PFCs in serum among Inuits from Greenland and inhabitants from Warsaw, Poland and Kharkiv, Ukraine. Furthermore, the aim was to define social- and lifestyle related determinants of exposure for these compounds. Serum levels of seven PFCs were analyzed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). The concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were the highest of all PFCs in all three populations with a total amount of almost 90% of the PFCs. The mean levels of PFOS and PFOA were in the Greenlandic Inuits 52 and 4.8 ng mL(-1), in Poland 19 and 5.2 ng mL(-1), and in Ukraine 8.1 and 1.9 ng mL(-1), respectively. Thus, levels of PFCs in the serum of Inuits on Greenland were among the highest described in a general population whereas the levels in Poland were similar to other industrialized countries. The exposure in Ukraine was rather low. In the Greenlandic Inuit population, intake of seafood, tea, age and area of living were significant determinants of PFOS concentrations and explained about 22% of the variation. For the other populations no strong determinants were found.
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