Efficiency of maternal-fetal transfer of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
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Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) can be transferred from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy and adversely affect fetal development. However, the efficiency and influencing factors of PFASs maternal–fetal transfer remain unclear. We measured the levels of six perfluoroalkylcarboxylates, three perfluoroalkylsulfonates, and one sulfonamide in 369 pairs of maternal and umbilical cord serum and examined the transplacental transfer efficiency (TTE) of PFASs by the functional group and carbon chain length in a prospective birth cohort in Shandong, China. All ten PFASs were detected in both maternal and umbilical cord serum in nearly all samples. Maternal and cord levels were closely correlated (the correlation coefficient [r] ranging from 0.485 to 0.908) in most PFASs except perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) (r = 0.159). TTE was significantly affected by the functional group and carbon chain length. Compared to perfluoroalkylcarboxylates, perfluoroalkylsulfonates had a lower ratio of maternal to fetal transfer. A U-shaped relationship between carbon chain length and TTE was observed for perfluoroalkylcarboxylates while a monotonic descending trend was identified between TTE and the increasing carbon chain length for perfluoroalkylsulfonates. PFASs can readily pass through the placenta. The functional group and carbon chain length are important determinants for the TTE of PFASs.
KeywordsPerfluoroalkylcarboxylates Perfluoroalkylsulfonates Transplacental transfer efficiency China
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
transplacental transfer efficiency
perfluorohexane sulfonic acid
body mass index
perfluorobutane sulfonic acid
high-performance liquid chromatography system coupled with tandem mass spectrometry
limit of detection
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No.2017YFC1600500, 2016YFC1000203), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.81872629, 81773387, 81803185), Scientific research program of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (201840180).
Compliance with ethical standards
The Medical Ethics Committee of Xin Hua Hospital, affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, had approved the study protocol (Chen et al. 2015). Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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