Serum biomarkers of polyfluoroalkyl compound exposure in young girls in Greater Cincinnati and the San Francisco Bay Area, USA

Environ Pollut. 2014 Jan:184:327-34. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.09.008. Epub 2013 Oct 1.


PFC serum concentrations were measured in 6-8 year-old girls in Greater Cincinnati (GC) (N = 353) and the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) (N = 351). PFOA median concentration was lower in the SFBA than GC (5.8 vs. 7.3 ng/mL). In GC, 48/51 girls living in one area had PFOA concentrations above the NHANES 95th percentile for children 12-19 years (8.4 ng/mL), median 22.0 ng/mL. The duration of being breast fed was associated with higher serum PFOA at both sites and with higher PFOS, PFHxS and Me-PFOSA-AcOH concentrations in GC. Correlations of the PFC analytes with each other suggest that a source upriver from GC may have contributed to exposures through drinking water, and water treatment with granular activated carbon filtration resulted in less exposure for SWO girls compared to those in NKY. PFOA has been characterized as a drinking water contaminant, and water treatment systems effective in removing PFCs will reduce body burdens.

Keywords: Biomonitoring; Children; Drinking water contaminants; Human milk; Polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Drinking Water / chemistry
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Environmental Pollution / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • San Francisco
  • Water Purification
  • Water Supply / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Drinking Water
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons