East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Follow-up Project
- New! Report to the Community: How are participants exposed to PFCs? (PDF: 295KB/4 pages).
Information on this page:
The East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Follow-up Project measured perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in blood of residents of the East Metro who participated in MDH’s East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Project in 2008. One of the follow-up project’s goals was to find out whether efforts to reduce drinking water exposure to PFCs have been successful in reducing PFC blood levels in the population. Another goal was to learn more about how people are exposed to PFCs.
Participants included 164 adults who agreed to give a second blood sample in 2010. The MDH Public Health Laboratory analyzed blood samples for the same 7 PFCs measured in 2008: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and perfluoropentanoic acid (PFPeA).
Three PFCs (PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS) were found in the blood of all participants. Levels of these PFCs have declined since 2008 in most participants: on average, individual levels of PFOS went down by 26%, PFOA by 21%, and PFHxS by 13%. 2010 levels were still somewhat higher than the most recent information available for the general U.S. population. For more on these results, see the December 2011 Report to the Community (PDF: 273KB/3 pages). For information about PFCs in the general U.S. population, see Chemicals in People: Biomonitoring (PFCs).
Because these declines are similar to other exposed communities, results tell us that efforts made to reduce drinking water exposure to PFCs in the East Metro were successful. We expect that over time levels will continue to go down to general U.S. population levels.
The other 4 PFCs measured were less frequently detected: PFBA in 34 people (21%), PFBS in 7 people (5%), and PFPeA in 1 person. PFHxA was not detected in any samples. This was similar to 2008, though PFBA was detected in a greater percentage of participants (25%) in 2008.
An analysis of survey responses to learn more about how people are exposed to PFCs showed that participants who drank unfiltered water for more years had higher PFC blood levels. Also, the more water a person drank, the higher their PFC levels were. These results confirm that drinking water was a major source of exposure in East Metro communities. For the most part, diet, including homegrown produce, and use of various consumer products were not linked to higher PFC levels. MDH did find that people who had new carpeting installed in their home in the last year had higher levels of three PFCs, but this finding needs to be studied further. For more on these results, see the May 2013 Report to the Community (PDF: 295KB/4 pages).
MDH held two community meetings to discuss project results with community members. If funding allows, MDH will continue PFC biomonitoring in the East Metro to be sure that PFC blood levels of residents who were exposed to contaminated drinking water continue to decline. MDH programs will continue to test East Metro water for PFCs to ensure that levels do not exceed health limits.
- May 2013 Report to the Community (PDF: 295KB/4 pages).
- May 2013 Community Meeting Presentation (1.6MB/41 pages).
- December 2011 Report to the Community (PDF: 273KB, 3 pages)
- December 2011 Community Meeting Presentation (PDF: 669KB, 24 pages)
- Press Release: Project finds decline in PFC blood levels in east metro residents
- East Metro PFC Biomonitoring Pilot Project, Results and information from the 2008 pilot project
- Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in Minnesota, Overview from the MDH Division of Environmental Health
For questions or more information, contact the MN Biomonitoring Program.