Dermal Uptake of Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylic Acids (Pfca) in Human Skin (Ex-Vivo): An Insight into the Bioaccessibility of Short Versus Long-Chain Pfca

31 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2024

See all articles by Lore Jane Lemana Espartero

Lore Jane Lemana Espartero

University of South Australia

Farzana Kastury

University of South Australia

Miko Yamada

University of York

Samuel Bradley

University of York

Mark Moore

The University of Sydney

Judith Ford

The University of Sydney

Gary Owens

University of South Australia

Tarl Prow

University of York

Albert Juhasz

University of South Australia - Future Industries Institute

Abstract

While PFAS has been linked to various health effects in humans, dermal uptake of both legacy and emerging PFAS, as an important route of exposure, is underrepresented in the literature. This study used ex-vivo human skin to estimate and compare the dermal permeation (Franz Diffusion Cell System) of short and long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCA). The significance of skin absorption for each target compound was evaluated by determining the diffusion flux (J) and permeability coefficient (Kp), which were similar for all PFAS studied. For example, the flux (J) of PFOA, PFHxA, and PFBA were 4.86 x 10-6, 4.75 x 10-6, and 4.16 x 10-6, respectively, while the permeability coefficient (Kp) for PFOA, PFHxA, and PFBA were 1.5 x 10-8, 2.0 x 10-8, and 2.7 x 10-8, respectively. The total dermal uptake was 14.4 ng/cm2 ± 0.3 (4.5%), 7.3 ng/cm2 ± 0.7 (3.2%), and 3.1 ng/cm2 ± 0.6 (2%) for PFOA, PFHxA, and PFBA, respectively. Perfluorinated carbon chain length and hydrophobicity influenced PFCA dermal uptake. The rate-limiting step in dermal penetration and permeation occurred in the stratum corneum as it acts as the main barrier against dermic permeation. The diffusion and permeation capacity of short-chained PFHxA and PFBA was comparable to legacy PFOA, where, although the skin permeability of these compounds was low, dermal exposure was a significant route of exposure under constant and prolonged exposure.

Note:

Funding Information: National Health and Medical Council – Targeted call for PFAS research. Grant ID, GNT1186337.

Conflict of Interests: The following authors, namely Lore Jane Espartero, Farzana Kastury, Miko Yamada, Judith Ford, Samuel Bradley, Mark Moore, Gary Owens, Tarl Prow, and Albert Juhasz, declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Ethical Approval: Human Research Ethics Committee, University of South Australia, IBC-B-064.

Keywords: Perfluorocarboxylic acid, dermal permeation, short-chained PFAS, long-chained PFAS, human skin

Suggested Citation

Espartero, Lore Jane Lemana and Kastury, Farzana and Yamada, Miko and Bradley, Samuel and Moore, Mark and Ford, Judith and Owens, Gary and Prow, Tarl and Juhasz, Albert, Dermal Uptake of Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylic Acids (Pfca) in Human Skin (Ex-Vivo): An Insight into the Bioaccessibility of Short Versus Long-Chain Pfca. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4705603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4705603

Lore Jane Lemana Espartero (Contact Author)

University of South Australia ( email )

Farzana Kastury

University of South Australia ( email )

37-44 North Terrace, City West Campus
Adelaide, 5001
Australia

Miko Yamada

University of York ( email )

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Samuel Bradley

University of York ( email )

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Mark Moore

The University of Sydney ( email )

Judith Ford

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, 2006
Australia

Gary Owens

University of South Australia ( email )

37-44 North Terrace, City West Campus
Adelaide, 5001
Australia

Tarl Prow

University of York ( email )

Heslington
University of York
York, YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Albert Juhasz

University of South Australia - Future Industries Institute ( email )

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