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Demographic, Reproductive, and Dietary Determinants of Perfluorooctane Sulfonic (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Concentrations in Human Colostrum


To determine demographic, reproductive, and maternal dietary factors that predict perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) concentrations in breast milk, we measured perfluorooctane sulfonic (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) concentrations, using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, in 184 colostrum samples collected from women participating in a cohort study in Eastern Slovakia between 2002 and 2004. During their hospital delivery stay, mothers completed a food frequency questionnaire, and demographic and reproductive data were also collected. PFOS and PFOA predictors were identified by optimizing multiple linear regression models using Akaike's information criterion (AIC). The geometric mean concentration in colostrum was 35.3 pg/mL for PFOS and 32.8 pg/mL for PFOA. In multivariable models, parous women had 40% lower PFOS (95% CI: -56 to -17%) and 40% lower PFOA (95% CI: -54 to -23%) concentrations compared with nulliparous women. Moreover, fresh/frozen fish consumption, longer birth intervals, and Slovak ethnicity were associated with higher PFOS and PFOA concentrations in colostrum. These results will help guide the design of future epidemiologic studies examining milk PFAS concentrations in relation to health end points in children.

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