Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2010;36(5):413-421    pdf


Maternal concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and duration of breastfeeding

by Fei C, McLaughlin JK, Lipworth L, Olsen J

Objective Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) has been associated with impaired lactation in mice. We examined whether maternal perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and PFOA concentrations correlated with duration of breastfeeding among women.

Methods We randomly selected 1400 pregnant women from the Danish national birth cohort (1996–2002) and measured PFOS and PFOA concentrations in early pregnancy by using high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Self-reported data on the duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding were collected twice during telephone interviews around 6 and 18 months after the birth of the child.

Results The duration of breastfeeding decreased with increasing concentrations of pregnancy PFOS and PFOA among multiparous women, for whom the adjusted odds ratios (OR) for weaning before 6 months of age were 1.20 (95% CI 1.06–1.37) per 10 ng/ml increase in PFOS concentrations and 1.23 (95% CI 1.13–1.33) per 1 ng/ml increase in PFOA concentrations. No consistent association was found for primiparous women.

Conclusions These findings suggest that PFOA and PFOS may reduce the ability to lactate, but could equally reflect reverse causation since no association was seen in primiparous women.