Perfluoroalkyl substances measured in breast milk and child neuropsychological development in a Norwegian birth cohort study
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are chemicals with potential neurotoxic effects although the current evidence is still limited. This study investigated the association between perinatal exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and neuropsychological development assessed at 6, 12 and 24 months. We measured PFOS and PFOA in breast milk samples collected one month after delivery by mothers of children participating in the HUMIS study (Norway). Cognitive and psychomotor development was measured at 6 and at 24 months using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-II). Behavioral development was assessed using the infant-toddler symptom checklist (ITSC) at 12 and at 24 months. Weighted logistic regression and weighted negative binomial regression models were applied to analyze the associations between PFASs and ASQ-II and ITSC, respectively. The median concentration of PFOS was 110 ng/L, while the median for PFOA was 40 ng/L. We did not detect an increased risk of having an abnormal score in ASQ-II at 6 months or 24 months. Moreover, no consistent increase in behavioral problems assessed at 12 and 24 months by ITSC questionnaire was detected. We observed no association between perinatal PFOS and PFOA exposure and early neuropsychological development. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the effects of these compounds on neuropsychological development in older children.