Perfluorinated alkyl acids in blood serum from primiparous women in Sweden: serial sampling during pregnancy and nursing, and temporal trends 1996-2010

Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Aug 21;46(16):9071-9. doi: 10.1021/es301168c. Epub 2012 Aug 10.


We investigated temporal trends of blood serum levels of 13 perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) in primiparous women (N = 413) from Uppsala County, Sweden, sampled 3 weeks after delivery 1996-2010. Levels of the short-chain perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) increased 11%/y and 8.3%/y, respectively, and levels of the long-chain perfluorononanoate (PFNA) and perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) increased 4.3%/y and 3.8%/y, respectively. Concomitantly, levels of FOSA (22%/y), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS, 8.4%/y), perfluorodecane sulfonate (PFDS, 10%/y), and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, 3.1%/y) decreased. Thus, one or several sources of exposure to the latter compounds have been reduced or eliminated, whereas exposure to the former compounds has recently increased. We explored if maternal levels of PFOS, PFOA, and PFNA during the early nursing period are representative for the fetal development period, using serial maternal serum samples, including cord blood (N = 19). PFAA levels in maternal serum sampled during pregnancy and the nursing period as well as in cord blood were strongly correlated. Strongest correlations between cord blood levels and maternal levels were observed for maternal serum sampled shortly before or after the delivery (r = 0.70-0.89 for PFOS and PFOA). A similar pattern was observed for PFNA, although the correlations were less strong due to levels close to the method detection limit in cord blood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Lactation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Sweden
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Fluorocarbons
  • Sulfonic Acids