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01.09.2016 | Regular Article | Ausgabe 5/2016

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 5/2016

Association of perfluorinated chemical exposure in utero with maternal and infant thyroid hormone levels in the Sapporo cohort of Hokkaido Study on the Environment and Children’s Health

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 5/2016
Shizue Kato, Sachiko Itoh, Motoyuki Yuasa, Toshiaki Baba, Chihiro Miyashita, Seiko Sasaki, Sonomi Nakajima, Akiko Uno, Hiroyuki Nakazawa, Yusuke Iwasaki, Emiko Okada, Reiko Kishi
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s12199-016-0534-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) have been widely used as industrial products, and are persistent organic pollutants due to their chemical stability. Previous studies suggested that PFOS and PFOA might disrupt thyroid hormone (TH) status. Although TH plays an important role in fetal growth during pregnancy, little attention has been paid to the relationships between maternal exposure to perfluorocarbons and TH statuses of mothers and fetuses. We investigated the effects of low levels of environmental PFOS and PFOA on thyroid function of mothers and infants.


Of the eligible subjects in a prospective cohort, 392 mother–infant pairs were selected. Concentration of maternal serum PFOS and PFOA was measured in samples taken during the second and third trimesters or within 1 week of delivery. Blood samples for measuring thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels were obtained from mothers at early gestational stage (median 11.1 weeks), and from infants between 4 and 7 days of age, respectively.


Median concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were 5.2 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.6–12.3] and 1.2 (95 % CI limitation of detection–3.4) ng/mL, respectively. Maternal PFOS levels were inversely correlated with maternal serum TSH and positively associated with infant serum TSH, whereas maternal PFOA showed no significant relationship with TSH or FT4 among mothers and infants.


These findings suggest that PFOS may independently affect the secretion and balances of maternal and infant TSH even at low levels of environmental exposure.

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