Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a potent synthetic surfactant used in industrial applications, is a peroxisome proliferator that has resulted in dose-related increases in hepatic, pancreatic acinar, and Leydig cell adenomas in laboratory animals. In addition, PFOA increased serum estradiol levels through the induction of hepatic aromatase activity. In 1993 and 1995, we conducted two cross-sectional studies of 111 and 80 production workers, respectively, and specifically measured their serum PFOA in relation to several reproductive hormones to determine whether such an effect occurs in humans. PFOA was not significantly associated with estradiol or testosterone in either year's study. A 10 % increase in mean estradiol levels was observed among employees who had the highest levels of serum PFOA, although this association was confounded by body mass index. Neither was PFOA consistently associated with the other measured hormones. Our results provide reasonable assurance that, in this production setting, there were no significant hormonal changes associated with PFOA at the serum levels measured. Limitations of this investigation include its cross-sectional design, the few subjects exposed at the highest levels, and the lower levels of serum PFOA measured, compared with those levels reported to cause effects in laboratory animal studies.
|Number of pages
|Journal of occupational and environmental medicine
|Published - Jul 1 1998