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Chemosphere. 2013 May;91(6):802-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.01.088. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Occurrence of perfluorinated alkylated substances in breast milk of French women and relation with socio-demographical and clinical parameters: results of the ELFE pilot study.

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LUNAM Université, Oniris, USC 1329 Laboratoire d'Etude des Résidus et Contaminants dans les Aliments, Nantes, France.


A previously developed and validated methodology based on liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry was used for determine the concentration levels of 14 perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in a set of 48 breast milk samples collected from French women in the frame of the ELFE pilot study. In accordance with other similar studies conducted at european and international levels, PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS were detected and quantified in most of the analyzed samples (90%, 98% and 100%, respectively), and appeared as major contributors to the total PFAS exposure (38%, 37%, 25%, respectively), whereas the other targeted PFAS were very rarely, if not, found at the limits of detection of the method. Also in agreement with other published data, the concentration levels measured for the detected substances varied from <0.05 to 0.33μg/L for PFOS (median=0.079), from <0.05 to 0.22μg/L for PFOA (median=0.075), and from 0.04 to 0.07μg/L for PFHxS (median=0.050). On the basis of this relatively limited data set, no statistically significant relation was observed between these exposure levels and developmental outcomes, in particular the weight at birth. Similarly, no relation was observed between the measured PFAS levels and various socio-demographical parameters including the consumption of seafood, alcohol, smoking, or socio-economical level. These results suggest a need for further research and better knowledge regarding the sources, pharmacokinetics, and factors of exposure for other substances belonging to this class of emerging contaminants.

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