Neonatal-maternal factors and perfluoroalkyl substances in cord blood

Chemosphere. 2013 Aug;92(7):843-50. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.04.038. Epub 2013 May 18.


Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) can cross the placenta, enter fetal circulation, and were found to correlate with adverse fetal growth. However, determinants of cord blood PFASs are not fully characterized. The study aimed to explore the association between PFASs and neonatal-maternal factors within a Taiwanese birth cohort. We selected subjects from Taiwan Birth Panel Study, which enrolled 486 infant-mother pairs in 2004-2005. We collected cord blood and analyzed perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanyl sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) using a simple protein precipitation and an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. We retrieved information pertaining to maternal socio-demographics, lifestyle- and dietary-related factors through structured questionnaires during the postpartum hospital stay. A total of 439 subjects, with 90% response rate, have completed serum analysis and questionnaire survey. The median concentrations for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFUA in cord blood were 1.86, 5.67, 3.00, and 13.5ngmL(-1), respectively. After adjusting for potential confounders, multiple linear regression models revealed that log10-PFOA was positively associated with maternal age (β=0.011) and negatively associated with multiparity (β=-0.044). Log10-PFOS was negatively correlated with birth weight (β=-0.011) and higher maternal education (senior high school: β=-0.067; university: β=-0.088). Log10-PFUA tended to negatively associate with gender, male infants (β=-0.075), and using cosmetics during pregnancy (β=-0.065). Interestingly, presence of cockroaches in the home was positively associated with log10-PFOA (β=0.041) and 1og10-PFNA (β=0.123). In conclusion, this study demonstrated several factors to correlate with cord blood PFASs and further investigation are still needed for confirmation of exposure routes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Birth Weight
  • Caprylates / blood
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Cockroaches
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluoroundecanoic acid
  • perfluoro-n-nonanoic acid
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid