Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) including structural PFOS isomers in plasma from elderly men and women from Sweden: Results from the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS)

Environ Int. 2015 Sep:82:21-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.05.003. Epub 2015 May 22.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a class of compounds with unique chemical properties that have been shown useful in a wide variety of applications because they provide materials with reduced surface tension and exceptional non-stick properties. PFASs are commonly found in impregnation materials, coatings of papers and textiles, fire-fighting foams, pesticides, and cleaning agents. The potential for human exposure to PFASs is high because of their widespread distribution. The aim of this study was to investigate levels of PFASs in men and women from Sweden and to assess the influence of gender and parity among women. Levels of 13 PFASs were determined in plasma samples collected during 2001-2004 from 1016 (507 women) 70year-old participants from the population-based Prospective Study of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS). The PFASs studied were nine perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), four perfluorinated sulfonic acids (PFSAs) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA). In addition, structural isomers of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) were determined in a subset of 398 individuals. The detection rates were high and the majority of the studied compounds were detected in more than 75% of the participants. Levels of the selected analytes were found to be similar to other studies of non-occupationally exposed populations. Gender differences were observed in levels of PFHpA which was higher in men, while PFHxS was higher in women. Parity among women was shown to have a minor effect on PFAS concentrations and we found primi- and multiparous women to have slightly lower levels of PFUnDA when compared to nulliparous women.

Keywords: Biomonitoring; Gender; Human plasma; PFOA; PFOS; Perfluoroalkyl substances; Structural isomers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parity
  • Pesticides
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sweden


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Pesticides
  • perfluorooctane
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid