Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, 30322, United States; National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, Atlanta, GA, 30341, United States. Electronic address: [Email]
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been widely used in commercial and industrial manufacturing processes since the 1950s. Inverse associations between prenatal exposure to PFAS and birth size have been found in populations around the globe. This study examined the association of prenatal maternal serum concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and birth size in British boys. The study included 457 mother-son dyads participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Birth weight (g), crown to heel length (cm), and head circumference (cm) were collected at delivery. PFAS were detected in all maternal serum samples during pregnancy (median: 30 weeks gestation (interquartile range: 12-33)). Median concentrations (interquartile range) were 13.8 ng/mL (11.0, 17.7), 3.0 ng/mL (2.3, 3.8), 1.9 ng/mL (1.4, 2.5), and 0.4 ng/mL (0.3, 0.5) for PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA, respectively. In multivariable linear regression models, inverse associations were detected between PFOS (continuous) and birth weight (β = -8.50 g, 95% CI = -15.93, -1.07 g), crown to heel length (β = -0.04 cm, 95% CI = -0.08, -0.01 cm), and head circumference (β = -0.02 cm, 95% CI = -0.04, -0.002 cm). In conclusion, prenatal exposure to high levels of PFOS may be associated with reduced birth size in male infants.