PFAS & Low Birth Weight

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PFAS & Low Birth Weight

Post by Raul »

Below are just a few of the recent studies documenting birth weight alterations associated with PFAS.

Zheng T, Kelsey K, Zhu C, Pennell KD, Yao Q, Manz KE, Zheng YF, Braun JM, Liu Y, Papandonatos G, Liu Q, Shi K, Brochman S, Buka SL - "Adverse birth outcomes related to concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in maternal blood collected from pregnant women in 1960-1966" Environ Res 241:117010 (2023) doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.117010


Background: Prior animal and epidemiological studies suggest that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure may be associated with reduced birth weight. However, results from prior studies evaluated a relatively small set of PFAS.

Objectives: Determine associations of gestational PFAS concentrations in maternal serum samples banked for 60 years with birth outcomes.

Methods: We used data from 97 pregnant women from Boston and Providence that enrolled in the Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP) study (1960-1966). We quantified concentrations of 27 PFAS in maternal serum in pregnancy and measured infant weight, height and ponderal index at birth. Covariate-adjusted associations between 11 PFAS concentrations (>75% detection limits) and birth outcomes were estimated using linear regression methods.

Results: Median concentrations of PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS, and PFOS were 6.189, 0.330, 14.432, and 38.170 ng/mL, respectively. We found that elevated PFAS concentrations during pregnancy were significantly associated with lower birth weight and ponderal index at birth, but no significant associations were found with birth length. Specifically, infants born to women with PFAS concentrations ≥ median levels had significantly lower birth weight (PFOS: β = -0.323, P = 0.006; PFHxS: β = -0.292, P = 0.015; PFOA: β = -0.233, P = 0.03; PFHpS: β = -0.239, P = 0.023; PFNA: β = -0.239, P = 0.017). Similarly, women with PFAS concentrations ≥ median levels had significantly lower ponderal index (PFHxS: β = -0.168, P = 0.020; PFHxA: β = -0.148, P = 0.018).

Conclusions: Using data from this US-based cohort study, we found that 1) maternal PFAS levels from the 1960s exceeded values in contemporaneous populations and 2) that gestational concentrations of certain PFAS were associated with lower birth weight and infant ponderal index. Additional studies with larger sample size are needed to further examine the associations of gestational exposure to individual PFAS and their mixtures with adverse birth outcomes.

Keywords: Banked serum samples collaborative perinatal project; Diverse birth outcomes; Perfluoroalkyl substances; Polyfluoroalkyl substances.


Cao T, Qu A, Li Z, Wang W, Liu R, Wang X, Nie Y, Sun S, Zhang X, Liu X - "The relationship between maternal perfluoroalkylated substances exposure and low birth weight of offspring: a systematic review and meta-analysis" Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 28(47):67053-67065 (2021). doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-15061-4 ... 21-15061-4

Dai Y, Zhang J, Wang Z, Ding J, Xu S, Zhang B, Guo J, Qi X, Chang X, Wu C, Zhou Z - "Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in umbilical cord serum and body mass index trajectories from birth to age 10 years: Findings from a longitudinal birth cohort (SMBCS)" Environ Int 180:108238 (2023). doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108238 ... 2023005111

Fan X, Tang S, Wang Y, Fan W, Ben Y, Naidu R, Dong Z - "Global Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Associated Burden of Low Birthweight" Environ Sci Technol 56(7):4282-4294 (2022). doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c08669

Gao X, Ni W, Zhu S, Wu Y, Cui Y, Ma J, Liu Y, Qiao J, Ye Y, Yang P, Liu C, Zeng F - "Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances exposure during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Environ Res 201:111632 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111632 ... 21)00926-9

Manea S, Salmaso L, Lorenzoni G, Mazzucato M, Russo F, Mantoan D, Martuzzi M, Fletcher T, Facchin P - "Exposure to PFAS and small for gestational age new-borns: A birth records study in Veneto Region (Italy)" Environ Res 184:109282 (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109282 ... 5120301754

Padula AM, Ning X, Bakre S, Barrett ES, Bastain T, Bennett DH, Bloom MS, Breton CV, Dunlop AL, Eick SM, Ferrara A, Fleisch A, Geiger S, Goin DE, Kannan K, Karagas MR, Korrick S, Meeker JD, Morello-Frosch R, O'Connor TG, Oken E, Robinson M, Romano ME, Schantz SL, Schmidt RJ, Starling AP, Zhu Y, Hamra GB, Woodruff TJ; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes - "Birth Outcomes in Relation to Prenatal Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Stress in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program" Environ Health Perspect 131(3):37006 (2023). doi: 10.1289/EHP10723

Tian Y, Zhou Q, Zhang L, Li W, Yin S, Li F, Xu C - "In utero exposure to per-/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs): Preeclampsia in pregnancy and low birth weight for neonates" Chemosphere 313:137490 (2023). doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.137490 ... 22)03983-2

Wang Z, Luo J, Zhang Y, Li J, Zhang J, Tian Y, Gao Y; Shanghai Birth Cohort - "High maternal glucose exacerbates the association between prenatal per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance exposure and reduced birth weight" Sci Total Environ 858(Pt 3):160130 (2023). doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.160130 ... 22)07230-8

Wright JM, Lee AL, Rappazzo KM, Ru H, Radke EG, Bateson TF - "Systematic review and meta-analysis of birth weight and PFNA exposures." Environ Res. 222:115357 (2023). doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115357 ... 5123001494

Zhang Y, Mustieles V, Sun Q, Coull B, McElrath T, Rifas-Shiman SL, Martin L, Sun Y, Wang YX, Oken E, Cardenas A, Messerlian C - "Association of Early Pregnancy Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Exposure With Birth Outcomes" JAMA Netw Open 6(5):e2314934 (2023). doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.14934 ... le/2805449


Conley JM, Lambright CS, Evans N, McCord J, Strynar MJ, Hill D, Medlock-Kakaley E, Wilson VS, Gray LE Jr - "Hexafluoropropylene oxide-dimer acid (HFPO-DA or GenX) alters maternal and fetal glucose and lipid metabolism and produces neonatal mortality, low birthweight, and hepatomegaly in the Sprague-Dawley rat" Environ Int 146:106204 (2021)doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.106204
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