Maternal exposure to perfluorinated acids and fetal growth

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The widespread detection of perfluorinated acids (PFAs) in humans and known developmental toxicity in animals has raised concern about their potential effects on human reproductive health. Our objective was to determine whether increasing maternal exposure to PFAs is associated with adverse effects on fetal growth and length of gestation in women giving birth in Alberta, Canada. We examined the concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) in a cohort of 252 pregnant women who gave birth to live singletons. Each of the women had undergone an early second trimester prenatal screen, and her serum was analyzed for PFA concentrations. Data on infant and maternal variables were collected from the delivery record completed at birth. Adjusted changes in birth weight per natural log (ng/ml) of PFOA (median 1.5 ng/ml), PFHxS (median 0.97 ng/ml), and PFOS (median 7.8 ng/ml) were −37.4 g (95% confidence interval (CI): −86.0 to 11.2 g), 21.9 g (−23.4 to 67.2 g), and 31.3 g (−43.3 to 105.9 g), respectively. Mean birth weight z-score, standardized for gestational age and gender, length of gestation, and risk of preterm birth did not appear to be influenced by maternal PFA exposure. When PFA concentrations were divided into tertiles, similar patterns were observed. These results suggest that maternal PFA exposure has no substantial effect on fetal weight and length of gestation at the concentrations observed in this population.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2010) 20, 589–597; published online 28 October 2009

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