« Breastfed children’s burden of PFAS increases by 20-30 % per month
A group of Danish, US and Faroese researchers have demonstrated that breastfeeding is an important route for children’s exposure to perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), such as PFOS and PFOA.
The compounds are used in non-stick and oil- and water- resistant packaging, textiles and coatings. They are highly persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in food chains and their half-life in the human body may be several years.
The paper is published in Environmental Science and Technology : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b02237
Breastfeeding as an Exposure Pathway for Perfluorinated Alkylates
Ulla B. Mogensen, Philippe Grandjean, Flemming Nielsen, Pal Weihe , Esben Budtz-Jørgensen
(Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health, Faroe Islands; Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States)
Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
Perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs) are widely used and have resulted in human exposures worldwide. PFASs occur in breast milk, and the duration of breastfeeding is associated with serum-PFAS concentrations in children. To determine the time-dependent impact of this exposure pathway, we examined the serum concentrations of five major PFASs in a Faroese birth cohort at birth, and at ages 11, 18, and 60 months. Information about the children’s breastfeeding history was obtained from the mothers. The trajectory of serum-PFAS concentrations during months with and without breastfeeding was examined by linear mixed models that accounted for the correlations of the PFAS measurements for each child. The models were adjusted for confounders such as body size. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding was associated with increases of most PFAS concentrations by up to 30% per month, with lower increases during partial breast-feeding. In contrast to this main pattern, perfluorohexanesulfonate was not affected by breast-feeding. After cessation of breastfeeding, all serum concentrations decreased. This finding supports the evidence of breastfeeding being an important exposure pathway to some PFASs in infants. »
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