A new study published online on January 7, 2015 in the peer-reviewed, open access journal Environmental Health suggests that prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS, CAS 1763-23-1) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS 335-67-1) may affect children’s neuro-behavioral development at the age of 5 to 9 years. Høyer and colleagues analyzed maternal sera collected between 2002 and 2004 in a cohort of 1,106 mother-child pairs from Greenland, Kharkiv (Ukraine) and Warsaw (Poland) for PFOS and PFOA. In a follow-up (2010–2012), child motor development and behavior were measured. In Greenland, elevated PFOS and PFOA levels were associated with behavioral problems and hyperactivity, respectively. Such associations were not found for Poland and Ukraine. Prenatal PFOS and PFOA exposures were not associated with motor difficulties. The authors therefore conclude that prenatal exposure to PFOS and PFOA may have a small to moderate effect on children’s neuro-behavioural development, in particular concerning hyperactive behaviour. The associations were strongest in Greenland, where the highest contrast of exposure was observed. The population sample from Greenland was of a considerable size, therefore the results should be robust, the authors stress. PFOA is authorized in Europe for the use in plastic food contact materials for repeated use (refer to the FPF background article).

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Høyer, B.B. et al. (2015). “Pregnancy serum concentrations of perfluorinated alkyl substances and offspring behaviour and motor development at age 5–9 years – a prospective study.Environmental Health 14(1), 2 (open access).