Rate of Decline in Serum PFOA Concentrations after Granular Activated Carbon Filtration at Two Public Water Systems in Ohio and West Virginia
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0901252
BACKGROUND: Drinking water in multiple water districts in the Mid-Ohio Valley has been contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was released by a nearby DuPont chemical plant. Two highly contaminated water districts began granular activated carbon filtration in 2007. OBJECTIVES: To determine the rate of decline in serum PFOA, and its corresponding half-life, during the first year after filtration. METHODS: Up to six blood samples were collected from each of 200 participants from May 2007 until August 2008. The primary Source of drinking water varied over time for some participants; Our analyses were grouped according to water source at baseline in May-June 2007. RESULTS: For Lubeck Public Service District customers, the average decrease in serum PFOA concentrations between May-June 2007 and May-August 2008 was 32 ng/mL (26%) for those primarily consuming public water at home (n = 130), and 16 ng/mL (28%) for those primarily consuming bottled water at home (n = 17). For Little Hocking Water Association customers, the average decrease in serum PFOA concentrations between November-December 2007 and May-June 2008 was 39 ng/mL (11%) for consumers of public water (n = 39) and 28 ng/mL (20%) for consumers of bottled water (n = 11). The covariate-adjusted average rate of decrease in serum PFOA concentration after water filtration was 26% per year (95% confidence interval, 25-28% per year). CONCLUSIONS: The observed data are consistent with first-order elimination and a median serum PFOA half-life of 2.3 years. Ongoing follow-up will lead to improved half-life estimation.