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Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Sep 1;45(17):7510-6. doi: 10.1021/es2012275. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Temporal changes in the levels of perfluorinated compounds in California women's serum over the past 50 years.

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Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Environmental Protection Agency, Berkeley, California 94710, United States.


Serum samples collected from California women at different time periods: 1960s (n = 40), 1980s (n = 30), and 2009 (n = 35) were examined for the presence of 12 perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) using an online SPE-HPLC-MS/MS method. At each time period, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was present at the highest concentration, followed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, except in the 1960s). We found the highest levels of PFOS (median = 42.1 ng/mL) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS, median = 1.56 ng/mL) in the 1960s samples, possibly reflecting widespread use of precursor PFCs. PFOS showed a statistically significant drop from the 1960s to the 1980s (28.8 ng/mL ) and to 2009 (9.0 ng/mL ), the latter being in agreement with national data. For PFOA, there was an approximately 10-fold increase in median concentrations from the 1960s (0.27 ng/mL) to the 1980s (2.71 ng/mL), and a slight drop in the 2009 samples (2.08 ng/mL). For longer chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs), there was a continuous build-up in serum from the 1960s to 2009. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate temporal changes of PFCs over the past 50 years.

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