2023 journal article

Domestic Dogs and Horses as Sentinels of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Exposure and Associated Health Biomarkers in Gray’s Creek North Carolina

Environmental Science & Technology.

By: K. Rock n, M. Polera n, T. Guillette*, H. Starnes n, K. Dean, M. Watters, D. Stevens-Stewart, S. Belcher n

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
Source: ORCID
Added: June 21, 2023

Central North Carolina (NC) is highly contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in part due to local fluorochemical production. Little is known about the exposure profiles and long-term health impacts for humans and animals that live in nearby communities. In this study, serum PFAS concentrations were determined using liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry and diagnostic clinical chemistry endpoints were assessed for 31 dogs and 32 horses that reside in Gray’s Creek NC at households with documented PFAS contamination in their drinking water. PFAS were detected in every sample, with 12 of the 20 PFAS detected in ≥50% of samples from each species. The average total PFAS concentrations in horses were lower compared to dogs who had higher concentrations of PFOS (dogs 2.9 ng/mL; horses 1.8 ng/mL), PFHxS (dogs 1.43 ng/mL, horses < LOD), and PFOA (dogs 0.37 ng/mL; horses 0.10 ng/mL). Regression analysis highlighted alkaline phosphatase, glucose, and globulin proteins in dogs and gamma glutamyl transferase in horses as potential biomarkers associated with PFAS exposure. Overall, the results of this study support the utility of companion animal and livestock species as sentinels of PFAS exposure differences inside and outside of the home. As in humans, renal and hepatic health in domestic animals may be sensitive to long-term PFAS exposures.