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Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) blood levels after contamination of a community water supply and comparison with 2013–2014 NHANES

Abstract

Introduction

Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), were detected in the community water supply of Paulsboro New Jersey in 2009.

Methods

A cross-sectional study enrolled 192 claimants from a class-action lawsuit, not affiliated with this study, who had been awarded a blood test for 13 PFAS. Study participants provided their blood test results and completed a survey about demographics; 105 participants also completed a health survey. Geometric means, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of exposure of PFNA blood serum concentrations were compared to that of the 2013–2014 NHANES, adjusted for reporting level. Associations between PFNA, PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS and self-reported health outcomes were assessed using logistic regression.

Results

PFNA serum levels were 285% higher in Paulsboro compared with U.S. residents. PFNA serum levels were higher among older compared with younger, and male compared to female, Paulsboro residents. After adjustment for potential confounding, there was a significant association between increased serum PFNA levels and self-reported high cholesterol (OR: 1.15, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.29).

Discussion/Conclusion

Further investigation into possible health effects of PFAS exposure in Paulsboro and other community settings is warranted. Since exposure has ceased, toxicokinetics of PFAS elimination should be explored.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the Rutgers Center for Environmental Exposure and Disease (CEED) pilot grant program NIEHS Center grant project number 5P30ES005022–29. We would like to thank the many people who made this project possible, including current and former residents of Paulsboro NJ who participated in this study, as well as: Kerry Butch of the CEED Community Outreach and Engagement Core, Brian Buckley PhD, Executive Director of Laboratories at EOHSI and the many EOHSI staff members and Rutgers SPH students who assisted with study implementation, including Shahnaz Alimokhtari, Omkar Bhawmik, Taylor Black, Clarimel Cepeda, Jennifer Gilman, Marta Hernandez, Prerna Malik, Amber Minnick, Alan Perez, Parita Ratnani, and Darsey Schulaka.

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Correspondence to Judith M. Graber.

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Graber, J.M., Alexander, C., Laumbach, R.J. et al. Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) blood levels after contamination of a community water supply and comparison with 2013–2014 NHANES. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 29, 172–182 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-018-0096-z

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Keywords

  • Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
  • Community Water Supply
  • Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA)
  • Paulsboro

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