Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 7970–7978 | Cite as

Determinants of maternal and fetal exposure and temporal trends of perfluorinated compounds

  • Amanda Ode
  • Lars Rylander
  • Christian H. Lindh
  • Karin Källén
  • Bo A. G. Jönsson
  • Peik Gustafsson
  • Per Olofsson
  • Sten A. Ivarsson
  • Anna Rignell-Hydbom
Nordic Research on Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)


In recent years, some perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been identified as potentially hazardous substances which are harmful to the environment and human health. According to limited data, PFC levels in humans could be influenced by several determinants. However, the findings are inconsistent. In the present study, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were measured in paired maternal and cord serum samples (N = 237) collected between 1978 and 2001 in Southern Sweden to study the relationship between these and to investigate several potential determinants of maternal and fetal exposure to PFCs. Time trends of PFCs in Swedish women were also evaluated. The study is a part of the Fetal Environment and Neurodevelopment Disorders in Epidemiological Research project. PFOS, PFOA, and PFNA levels (median) were higher in maternal serum (15, 2.1, and 0.24 ng/ml, respectively) than in cord serum (6.5, 1.7, and 0.20 ng/ml, respectively). PFC levels were among the highest in women originating from the Nordic countries and the lowest in women from the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Multiparous women had lower serum PFOA levels (1.7 ng/ml) than primiparous women (2.4 ng/ml). Maternal age, body mass index, cotinine levels, and whether women carried male or female fetuses did not affect serum PFC concentrations. Umbilical cord serum PFC concentrations showed roughly similar patterns as the maternal except for the gestational age where PFC levels increased with advancing gestational age. PFOS levels increased during the study period in native Swedish women. In summary, PFOS levels tend to increase while PFOA and PFNA levels were unchanged between 1978 and 2001 in our study population. Our results demonstrate that maternal country of origin, parity, and gestational age might be associated with PFC exposure.


Perfluorinated compounds Fetal exposure Determinants Country of origin Parity Gestational age Time trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda Ode
    • 1
  • Lars Rylander
    • 1
  • Christian H. Lindh
    • 1
  • Karin Källén
    • 1
  • Bo A. G. Jönsson
    • 1
  • Peik Gustafsson
    • 2
  • Per Olofsson
    • 3
  • Sten A. Ivarsson
    • 4
  • Anna Rignell-Hydbom
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Occupational and Environmental MedicineLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical SciencesLund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institution of Clinical Sciences, Skane University HospitalLund UniversityMalmöSweden
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Sciences, Unit of Pediatric EndocrinologyLund University/Clinical Research Centre (CRC)MalmöSweden

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