HBM4EU chromates study – PFAS exposure in electroplaters and bystanders

Göen T, Abballe A, Bousoumah R, Godderis L, Iavicoli I, Ingelido AM, Leso V, Müller J, Ndaw S, Porras SP, Verdonck J, Santonen T, Poels K, Antoine G, Melczer M, Cattaneo A, Cavallo DM, De Palma G, Gambelunghe A, Lovreglio P, Aimonen K, Velin R (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 346

Article Number: 140613

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.140613


The study aims to reveal the exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in workers in different industry sectors with exposures to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). The PFAS exposure of in total 172 individuals from 4 countries was assessed by the determination of 8 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids and 4 perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids in plasma samples. The participants were 52 chrome plating workers, 43 welders, 3 surface treating workers and 74 workers without any occupational Cr exposure as controls. Significant differences between workers with Cr exposure and controls were found for the perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids, particularly for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The median and maximum levels were, respectively, 4.83 and 789 μg/l for chrome plating workers, 4.97 and 1513 μg/l for welders, and 3.65 and 13.9 μg/l for controls. The considerably high PFOS exposure in Cr platers and welders can be explained by the former application of PFOS as mist suppressants in electroplating baths, which resulted in an exposure of the directly involved operators, but also of welders performing maintenance and repair service at these workplaces.

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Göen, T., Abballe, A., Bousoumah, R., Godderis, L., Iavicoli, I., Ingelido, A.M.,... Velin, R. (2024). HBM4EU chromates study – PFAS exposure in electroplaters and bystanders. Chemosphere, 346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.140613


Göen, Thomas, et al. "HBM4EU chromates study – PFAS exposure in electroplaters and bystanders." Chemosphere 346 (2024).

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