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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Mar;29(2):206-217. doi: 10.1038/s41370-018-0109-y. Epub 2019 Jan 8.

Serum concentrations of PFASs and exposure-related behaviors in African American and non-Hispanic white women.

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Silent Spring Institute, Newton, MA, USA.
Silent Spring Institute, Newton, MA, USA.
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA.
Child Health and Development Studies Participant Advisory Council, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Child Health and Development Studies, Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA, USA.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used in a wide range of consumer products for their water- and grease-resistant properties, but few studies have explored this exposure route. We used multiple regression to investigate associations between six self-reported behaviors hypothesized to influence PFAS exposure and serum concentrations of six PFAS chemicals in 178 middle-aged women enrolled in the Child Health and Development Studies, about half of whom are African American. Blood samples were collected in 2010-2013, and participants were interviewed about behavior in 2015-2016. Results showed that AfricanĀ American women had lower levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) compared with non-Hispanic white women. In African Americans, but not others, frequent consumption of prepared food in coated cardboard containers was associated with higher levels of four PFASs. Flossing with Oral-B Glide, having stain-resistant carpet or furniture, and living in a city served by a PFAS-contaminated water supply were also associated with higher levels of some PFASs. Product testing using particle-induced Ī³-ray emission (PIGE) spectroscopy confirmed that Oral-B Glide and competitor flosses contained detectable fluorine. Despite the delay between blood collection and interview, these results strengthen the evidence for exposure to PFASs from food packaging and implicate exposure from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-based dental floss for the first time.


Dental floss; Drinking water; Food Packaging; PFAS; Personal exposure

[Available on 2019-07-08]

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