Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Krystal J. Godri Pollitt


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have gained attention given their prevalence and persistence in the environment and in our bodies. PFAS have been detected in water, food products, and consumer products. Furthermore, companion animals may be exposed to elevated PFAS levels due to sources from pet products as well as household items. A growing number of studies have been conducted to better understand the toxicological and public health impacts of legacy PFAS resulting from ingestion and dermal exposure pathways in both humans and domesticated animals. As alternative replacement PFAS emerge in the market, these compounds are shorter chain which allows them to be volatilized more readily into the air, introducing a need to study the inhalation exposure. The objective of this study was to determine PFAS personal exposures of humans and dogs and perform a comparative assessment of the two populations. Fresh Air personal samplers, consisting of custom-made polydimethylsiloxane sorbent bars sheltered in a housing case, were deployed in wristbands and dog collars for 7 consecutive days within a cohort of 38 dog-human pairs in Boulder, Colorado. Samplers were subsequently analyzed using thermal desorption gas chromatography high-resolution orbitrap mass-spectrometry. After screening for 21 PFAS, 7 PFAS were detected, with matching exposures within dog-human pairs. 1H,1H,2H,2H,3H,3Hperfluoroundecyl acetate had the widest range of exposure levels. FTOH 10:2, FTOH 12:2, and FTOH 14:2 was measured with high abundance across most participants and had the highest average air concentrations of approximately 25.1 pg/m3. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of deploying wearable passive samplers with domestic animals to determine personal exposure. PFAS exposure in dog and human pairs were highly correlated suggesting that household pets can estimate human exposures to PFAS in the air and share multiple sources of exposure within the home.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/19/2024