Factors associated with maternal serum levels of perfluoroalkyl substances and organochlorines : a descriptive study of parous women in Norway and Sweden

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    INTRODUCTION Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and organochlorines (OCs) are ubiquitous and persistent in the environment and proposed endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). They can be transferred across the placenta during pregnancy, and studies suggest that the prenatal period may be particularly sensitive for influences on fetal growth and development. Several studies have investigated socio-demographic and pregnancy related factors associated with maternal serum PFAS and OC levels, but few studies have been conducted in time periods with increasing emissions of PFASs and recent emissions of OCs. METHODS Serum from 424 pregnant women participating in the NICHD Scandinavian Successive Small-for-gestational Age (SGA) births study was collected in 1986±1988, and analyses of two PFASs and six OCs were conducted. Associations between EDCs and geographic, time dependent, socio-demographic and pregnancy related variables were evaluated by using multivariable linear regression models. RESULTS Previous breastfeeding duration, time since last breastfeeding period, sampling date and country of residence were important factors associated with serum levels of PFOS and PFOA. Smoking status and pre-pregnancy BMI were negatively associated with PFOS, and maternal height was borderline negatively associated with PFOS and PFOA. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was negatively associated with PFOS in a sub-sample. Maternal serum levels of OCs were positively associated with maternal age, and negatively associated with previous breastfeeding duration and sampling date. Smoking had a consistently negative association with PCB 118 in a dose-dependent manner. Education level, pre-pregnancy BMI and alcohol consumption varied in importance according to the compound under study. CONCLUSIONS Several maternal factors, including potentially modifiable factors, markers of pregnancy physiology and factors also related to perinatal outcomes were associated with EDC levels. Results from this study are relevant to populations with still high PFAS and OC levels, i.e. developing countries. Moreover, we can use this knowledge about associated factors on emerging EDCs with similar properties.