The developmental toxicity of perfluoroalkyl acids and their derivatives


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Abstract

Perfluoroalkyl acids such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have applications in numerous industrial and consumer products. Although the toxicology of some of these compounds has been investigated in the past, the widespread prevalence of PFOS and PFOA in humans, as demonstrated in recent bio-monitoring studies, has drawn considerable interest from the public and regulatory agencies as well as renewed efforts to better understand the hazards that may be inherent in these compounds. This review provides a brief overview of the perfluoroalkyl chemicals and a summary of the available information on the developmental toxicity of the eight-carbon compounds, PFOS and PFOA. Although the teratological potentials of some of these chemicals had been studied in the past and the findings were generally unremarkable, results from recent postnatal studies on developmental and reproductive indices have prompted consideration of their relevance to human health risk. Based on current understanding of the developmental effects of PFOS and PFOA in rodents, several avenues of research are suggested that would further support the risk assessment of these perfluorinated organic chemicals.

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