Fluorinated organic compounds in an Eastern arctic marine food web

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Environmental Science and Technology





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An eastern Arctic marine food web was analyzed for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS, C8F17SO3-), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, C7F15COO-), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA, C8F17SO2NH2), and N-ethylperfluorooctane sulfonamide (N-EtPFOSA, C8F 17SO2NHCH2CH3) to examine the extent of bioaccumulation. PFOS was detected in all species analyzed, and mean concentrations ranged from 0.28 ± 0.09 ng/g (arithmetic mean ± 1 standard error, wet wt, whole body) in clams (Mya truncate) to 20.2 ± 3.9 ng/g (wet wt, liver) in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). PFOA was detected in approximately 40% of the samples analyzed at concentrations generally smaller than those found for PFOS; the greatest concentrations were observed in zooplankton (2.6 ± 0.3 ng/g, wet wt). N-EtPFOSA was detected in all species except redfish with mean concentrations ranging from 0.39 ± 0.07 ng/g (wet wt) in mixed zooplankton to 92.8 ± 41.9 ng/g (wet wt) in Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). This is the first report of N-EtPFOSA in Arctic biota. PFOSA was only detected in livers of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) (20.9 ± 7.9 ng/g, wet wt) and narwhal (Monodon monoceros) (6.2 ± 2.3 ng/g, wet wt), suggesting that N-EtPFOSA and other PFOSA-type precursors are likely present but are being biotransformed to PFOSA. A positive linear relationship was found between PFOS concentrations (wet wt) and trophic level (TL), based on §15N values, (r2 = 0.51, p < 0.0001) resulting in a trophic magnification factor of 3.1. TL-corrected biomagnification factor estimates for PFOS ranged from 0.4 to 9. Both results indicate that PFOS biomagnifies in the Arctic marine food web when liver concentrations of PFOS are used for seabirds and marine mammals. However, transformation of N-EtPFOSA and PFOSA and potential other perfluorinated compounds to PFOS may contribute to PFOS levels in marine mammals and may inflate estimated biomagnification values. None of the other fluorinated compounds (N-EtPFOSA, PFOSA, and PFOA) were found to have a significant relationship with TL, but BMFTL values of these compounds were often >1, suggesting potential for these compounds to biomagnify. The presence of perfluorinated compounds in seabirds and mammals provides evidence that trophic transfer is an important exposure route of these chemicals to Arctic biota.





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