Embryos and fetuses are of major concern due to their high vulnerability. Previous studies demonstrated that human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may be underestimated because only a limited number of known PFAS can be measured. This investigation studied the total PFAS exposure by measuring the extractable organofluorine (EOF) in pooled maternal serum, placental tissue, and cord serum samples (total number of pooled samples: n = 45). The EOF was analyzed using combustion ion chromatography, and the concentrations of known PFAS were determined using ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with a tandem mass spectrometer. Using a mass balance analysis approach, the amount of unknown PFAS was estimated between the levels of known PFAS and EOF. The EOF levels ranged from 2.85 to 7.17 ng F/mL (21 PFAS were quantified) in the maternal serum, from 1.02 to 1.85 ng F/g (23 PFAS were quantified) in the placental tissue, and from 1.2 to 2.10 ng F/mL (18 PFAS were quantified) in the cord serum. An average of 24, 51, and 9% of EOF is unidentified in the maternal serum, placental tissue, and cord serum, respectively. The results show that the levels of unidentified EOF are higher in the placental tissue, suggesting accumulation or potential transformation of precursors in the placenta.
- Alkanesulfonic Acids
- Chromatography, Liquid