Environmental science & technology

Differential accumulation and elimination behavior of perfluoroalkyl Acid isomers in occupational workers in a manufactory in China.

PMID 25927957


In this study, serum and urine samples were collected from 36 occupational workers in a fluorochemical manufacturing plant in China from 2008 to 2012 to evaluate the body burden and possible elimination of linear and branched perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). Indoor dust, total suspended particles (TSP), diet, and drinking water samples were also collected to trace the occupational exposure pathway to PFAA isomers. The geometric mean concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) isomers in the serum were 1386, 371, and 863 ng mL(-1), respectively. The linear isomer of PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS was the most predominant PFAA in the serum, with mean proportions of 63.3, 91.1, and 92.7% respectively, which were higher than the proportions in urine. The most important exposure routes to PFAA isomers in the occupational workers were considered to be the intake of indoor dust and TSP. A renal clearance estimation indicated that branched PFAA isomers had a higher renal clearance rate than did the corresponding linear isomers. Molecular docking modeling implied that linear PFOS (n-PFOS) had a stronger interaction with human serum albumin (HSA) than branched isomers did, which could decrease the proportion of n-PFOS in the blood of humans via the transport of HSA.