Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) Conversion from N-Ethyl-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-perfluorooctanesulfonamide (EtFOSE) in male Sprague Dawley rats after inhalation exposure
Ethyl-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-perfluorooctanesulfonamide (EtFOSE) was one of the key building blocks for many of the perfluorooctanesulfonyl-based chemistry and laboratory studies have shown that EtFOSE can metabolically degrade to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS). Non-occupational contribution sources to PFOS are thought to occur in general population via diets, drinking water, air and dust. For workers, however, the exposure route was mostly airborne and the exposure source was predominantly to precursor compounds such as EtFOSE. We undertook this study to investigate how much EtFOSE was converted to PFOS in the serum for male rats after 6 h of exposure to EtFOSE vapor (whole body) at ambient temperature, which simulated a work place exposure scenario. There were no abnormal clinical observations and all rats gained weight during study. Interim tail-vein blood samples, collected up to 21 days after exposure, were analyzed for Et-FOSE and PFOS concentrations by LC-MS/MS. Upon inhalation exposure, the biotransformation of EtFOSE to PFOS in serum in the male rats was rapid and very little EtFOSE was detected in the serum within 24 h after EtFOSE exposure. The highest conversion to PFOS in serum after exposure to EtFOSE vapor appeared to occur between Day 8−14 post exposure. Considering the potential surface and fur adsorption of test compound in the whole-body exposure system, our data would support that at least 10% of the inhaled EtFOSE was biotransformed to PFOS in the serum based on the range of lower 95% CI (confidence interval) values. This information is valuable because it quantitatively translates EtFOSE exposure into serum PFOS concentration, which serves as a matrix for internal dosimetry (of PFOS exposure) that can be used as an anchor across species as well as between different exposure routes.