Association of polyfluoroalkyl chemical exposure with serum lipids in children

Xiao Wen Zeng, Zhengmin Qian, Brett Emo, Michael Vaughn, Jia Bao, Xiao Di Qin, Yu Zhu, Jie Li, Yungling Leo Lee, Guang Hui Dong

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), as well as polymers of PFASs, have been widely used in commercial applications and have been detected in humans and the environment. Previous epidemiological studies have shown associations between particular PFAS chemicals and serum lipid concentrations in adults, particularly perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). There exists, however, limited information concerning the effect of PFASs have on serum lipids among children. In the present cross-sectional study, 225 Taiwanese children (12-15. years of age) were recruited to determine the relationship between serum level PFASs and lipid concentration. Results showed that eight out of ten particular PFASs were detected in the serum of >. 94% of the participants. Serum PFOS and perfluorotetradecanoic acid (PFTA) levels were at an order of magnitude higher than the other PFASs, with arithmetical means of 32.4 and 30.7. ng/ml in boys and 34.2 and 27.4. ng/ml in girls, respectively. However, the variation in serum PFTA concentration was quite large. Following covariate adjustment, linear regression models revealed that PFOS, PFOA, and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) were positively associated with total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides (TG), particularly for PFOS and PFTA. Quartile analysis, with the lowest exposure quartile as a reference, yielded associations between serum PFTA and elevations in TC ( p= 0.002) and LDL ( p= 0.004). Though not statistically significant, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) appeared to decrease linearly across quartiles for PFOS and PFOA exposure. In conclusion, a significant association was observed between serum PFASs and lipid level in Taiwanese children. These findings for PFTA are novel, and emphasize the need to investigate the exposure route and toxicological evidence of PFASs beyond PFOS and PFOA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 5

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grant no. 81172630 and no. 81472936 from the National Natural Science Foundation of China , grant no. 98-2314-B-002-138-MY3 from the National Science Council in Taiwan , and grant no. 201202264 from the Liaoning Province Science and Technology Foundation . The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the funding source. The funding source had no role in the design or analysis of the study publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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