New Research Reveals Prenatal Exposure to PFAS is Associated with Lower Birth Weight

Dec 21, 2019 | Michelle Shapiro

A new study from Karlstad University evaluated the association between early pregnancy exposure to eight Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds respectively and birth weight in 1,533 mother child pairs in the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy (SELMA) study, specifically focusing on differences according to sex of the child.

Researchers found significant associations between higher prenatal exposures for five different PFAS (PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA och PFUnDA) and lower birth weight, and the associations were more pronounced in girls than in boys. In utero exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) within the highest quartile of exposure was in girls associated with 136 gram lower birthweight when compared to the lowest quartile. For a comparison, this association is in the same range as the effects from tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy.

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About Michelle Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro is a communication specialist for the Environmental Health & Disability team at NACCHO.

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