Occurrence, temporal trends, and half-lives of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in occupational workers in China

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 1;6:38039. doi: 10.1038/srep38039.


Paired serum and urine samples were collected from workers in a fluorochemical plant from 2008 to 2012 (n = 302) to investigate the level, temporal trends, and half-lives of PFAAs in workers of a fluorochemical plant. High levels of perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) were detected in serum with median concentrations of 764, 427, and 1725 ng mL-1, respectively. The half-lives of PFAAs in workers were estimated by daily clearance rates and annual decline rates of PFAAs in serum by a first-order model. The geometric mean and median value for PFHxS, PFOA, and PFOS were 14.7 and 11.7, 4.1 and 4.0, 32.6 and 21.6 years, respectively, by the daily clearance rates, and they were 3.6, 1.7, and 1.9 years estimated by annual decline rates. The half-lives estimated by the limited clearance route information could be considered as the upper limits for PFAAs, however, the huge difference between two estimated approaches indicated that there were other important elimination pathways of PFAAs other than renal clearance in human. The half-lives estimated by annual decline rates in the present study were the shortest values ever reported, and the intrinsic half-lives might even shorter due to the high levels of ongoing exposure to PFAAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / blood*
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / urine
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / urine
  • Caprylates / blood*
  • Caprylates / urine
  • China
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Fluorocarbons / urine
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Sulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Sulfonic Acids / urine
  • Young Adult


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Sulfonic Acids
  • perfluorohexanesulfonic acid
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid