Longitudinal measurements of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in archived human serum samples between 1975 and 1995 in Australia

J Hazard Mater. 2023 Feb 5;443(Pt B):130307. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.130307. Epub 2022 Nov 1.


Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade compounds produced since the 1950 s and used in a range of industrial processes and consumer products. In Australia, PFAS serum concentrations have been measured in the general population since 2002. However, few studies have retrospectively measured PFAS concentrations in serum samples representative of a general population prior to 2000, none of which have been conducted in Australia. To understand the general population's exposure to PFAS prior to 2002, longitudinal PFAS serum concentration measurements are required. In the current study, we accessed 'The Busselton Health Study Data Bank' to analyse archived serum samples for PFAS. Repeat serum samples collected in 1975, 1981 and 1995 were obtained from 17 participants. Of the 35 PFAS analysed, 13 PFAS were detected in the serum samples collected in 1975. Both the detection frequency and ∑PFAS serum concentrations increased between 1975 and 1995. Median ∑PFAS serum concentration increased over 7-fold; from 3.3 ng/mL in 1975-26 ng/mL in 1995. The increase in serum concentrations reflects the global production history of these PFAS during this period in time.

Keywords: Biological monitoring; Longitudinal studies; Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid; Perfluorooctanoic acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Fluorocarbons*
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Fluorocarbons