INTRODUCTION: Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), were detected in the community water supply of Paulsboro New Jersey in 2009.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study enrolled 192 claimants from a class-action lawsuit, not affiliated with this study, who had been awarded a blood test for 13 PFAS. Study participants provided their blood test results and completed a survey about demographics; 105 participants also completed a health survey. Geometric means, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 95th percentiles of exposure of PFNA blood serum concentrations were compared to that of the 2013-2014 NHANES, adjusted for reporting level. Associations between PFNA, PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS and self-reported health outcomes were assessed using logistic regression.
RESULTS: PFNA serum levels were 285% higher in Paulsboro compared with U.S. residents. PFNA serum levels were higher among older compared with younger, and male compared to female, Paulsboro residents. After adjustment for potential confounding, there was a significant association between increased serum PFNA levels and self-reported high cholesterol (OR: 1.15, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.29).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Further investigation into possible health effects of PFAS exposure in Paulsboro and other community settings is warranted. Since exposure has ceased, toxicokinetics of PFAS elimination should be explored.