Occupational workers are usually exposed to high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), placing them under greater health risks compared to the general population. Herein, 40 occupational workers from a factory in China and 52 control subjects from the general population were involved in an investigation on the potential health concerns of occupational exposure to PFASs by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis. The PFAS levels in plasma from both groups were analyzed. Six PFAS congeners (ς6PFASs) were found to be the main components of the 13 detected PFASs, with a geometric mean of 1770 and 22.2 ng mL-1 in occupational workers and the general population, respectively. Metabolic profiles of the plasma samples were acquired using liquid chromatography coupled with orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The partial least-squares-discriminant analysis model indicated that the plasma metabolic profiles of the two groups could be clearly separated. Differential and correlation analyses were applied to discover potential biomarkers. A total of 14 potential biomarkers were identified, and they were found to be associated with oxidative stress, fatty acid β-oxidation disorder, and kidney injury. The obtained results indicated that the health effects of occupational exposure to PFASs on workers should not be ignored.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Chemistry