Jonathan P Benskin

Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, Washington, United States

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Publications (19)79.96 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are ubiquitous in the environment. Investigations into their fate and potential phase-partitioning behaviour require separation of solid from aqueous phases via filtration. However, sorption of aqueous-phase PFASs on filtration media may lead to underestimation of PFAS concentrations in the aqueous phase. We investigated the sorption of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs), perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs), perfluoroalkyl phosphonic acids (PFPAs), perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPiAs), polyfluoroalkyl phosphate monoesters (monoPAPs), polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs), fluorotelomer sulfonates (FTSs), and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) on filtration media. The effects of concentration (3 spiking levels), filter media (4 types), matrix (4 matrices) and compound structure on sorption are reported. Glass fibre filtration resulted in the least sorption, while polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters resulted in the most sorption (up to 98%). Analyte concentration had no significant effect. Sorption was generally consistent across matrix type except for samples affected by aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) deployment, which displayed high sorption of PFOS on nylon filters. Sorption usually increased with increasing number of carbon or fluorine atoms and was most pronounced for PFPiAs and diPAPs (30-75% sorption). Overall, glass fiber filters are recommended over nylon filters in environmental samples when phase separation is required. Use of filtration media for PFAS must be preceded by matrix-specific testing to account for unpredictable effects. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 09/2014; · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Concentrations of 119 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and 13 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine sediments measured throughout Puget Sound (n = 10) and Bellingham Bay (n = 30), Washington, USA, are reported. These data are among the first measurements of PPCPs and PFASs in marine sediments from the Pacific Northwest and provide a comparison to previous measurements of these chemicals in influent, effluent, and biosolids from municipal wastewater treatment plants throughout the region. The concentrations of both PPCPs and PFASs in sediments from Puget Sound and Bellingham Bay ranged from very low to non-detectable for most compounds. Only 14 of the 119 PPCPs and 3 of 13 PFASs were quantifiable in sediments. Diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) was most frequently detected (87.5% of samples), with a maximum concentration of 4.81 ng/g dry weight and an estimated mean detected concentration of 1.68 ng/g. Triclocarban (an antibacterial) was detected in 35.0% of the samples, with a maximum concentration of 16.6 ng/g dry weight. Perfluoroalkyl substances were detected in 2.5% of analyses. Perfluorobutanoate, perfluorooctane sulfonate, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide were detected in 7, 5, and 1 sample(s) each, respectively, with the highest concentrations observed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (1.5 ng/g). Detected concentrations were often highest within the industrial harbor in Bellingham Bay and near the cities of Seattle and Bremerton. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1701-1710. © 2013 SETAC.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 08/2013; 32(8):1701-1710. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) are normally the dominant perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in human serum, but here a Canadian family of seven was identified with particularly high exposure to perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS). Disproportionately high serum PFHxS concentrations (range 27.5 - 423 ng/mL) and moderately high PFOS (range 15.2 - 108 ng/mL) and PFOA (range 2.40 - 9.23 ng/mL) concentrations were detected in the family members, with all three chemicals being highest in the youngest children. We therefore sought to identify the source(s) and pathway(s) of this unusual exposure, and to study the excretion of PFASs for this family. Serum, urine, and stool were sampled from family members, carpet, dust, and air were sampled in the home, and a questionnaire was administered. Over 15 years, the family's household carpets were treated 8 times with Scotchgard™ formulations. Elevated concentrations of PFHxS were detected in household dust (2780 ng/g dust) and in family room carpet (2880 ng/g carpet), and the primary mode of excretion for the major PFASs was through urine. The high PFHxS and moderately high PFOS concentrations in serum and household samples are consistent with the known PFAS content of certain Scotchgard™ formulations, and exposure was likely through dust ingestion and/or inhalation.
    Environmental Science & Technology 10/2012; · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report here on the spatial distribution of C(4), C(6), and C(8) perfluoroalkyl sulfonates, C(6)-C(14) perfluoroalkyl carboxylates, and perfluorooctanesulfonamide in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, including previously unstudied coastal waters of North and South America, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) were typically the dominant perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in Atlantic water. In the midnorthwest Atlantic/Gulf Stream, sum PFAA concentrations (∑PFAAs) were low (77-190 pg/L) but increased rapidly upon crossing into U.S. coastal water (up to 5800 pg/L near Rhode Island). ∑PFAAs in the northeast Atlantic were highest north of the Canary Islands (280-980 pg/L) and decreased with latitude. In the South Atlantic, concentrations increased near Rio de la Plata (Argentina/Uruguay; 350-540 pg/L ∑PFAAs), possibly attributable to insecticides containing N-ethyl perfluorooctanesulfonamide, or proximity to Montevideo and Buenos Aires. In all other southern hemisphere locations, ∑PFAAs were <210 pg/L. PFOA/PFOS ratios were typically ≥1 in the northern hemisphere, ∼1 near the equator, and ≤1 in the southern hemisphere. In the Canadian Arctic, ∑PFAAs ranged from 40 to 250 pg/L, with perfluoroheptanoate, PFOA, and PFOS among the PFAAs detected at the highest concentrations. PFOA/PFOS ratios (typically ≫1) decreased from Baffin Bay to the Amundsen Gulf, possibly attributable to increased atmospheric inputs. These data help validate global emissions models and contribute to understanding of long-range transport pathways and sources of PFAAs to remote regions.
    Environmental Science & Technology 05/2012; 46(11):5815-23. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extent to which different manufacturing sources and long-range transport pathways contribute to perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) in the world's oceans, particularly in remote locations, is widely debated. Here, the relative contribution of historic (i.e., electrochemically fluorinated) and contemporary (i.e., telomer) manufacturing sources was assessed for PFOA in various seawater samples by an established isomer profiling technique. The ratios of individual branched PFOA isomers were indistinguishable from those in authentic historic standards in 93% of the samples examined, indicating that marine processes had little influence on isomer profiles, and that isomer profiling is a valid source apportionment tool for seawater. Eastern Atlantic PFOA was largely (83-98%) of historic origin, but this decreased to only 33% close to the Eastern U.S. seaboard. Similarly, PFOA in the Norwegian Sea was near exclusively historic, but the relative contribution decreased to ∼50% near the Baltic Sea. Such observations of contemporary PFOA in coastal source regions coincided with elevated concentrations, suggesting that the continued production and use of PFOA is currently adding to the marine burden of this contaminant. In the Arctic, a spatial trend was observed whereby PFOA in seawater originating from the Atlantic was predominantly historic (up to 99%), whereas water in the Archipelago (i.e., from the Pacific) was predominantly of contemporary origin (as little as 17% historic). These data help to explain reported temporal and spatial trends from Arctic wildlife biomonitoring, and suggest that the dominant PFOA source(s) to the Pacific and Canadian Arctic Archipelago are either (a) from direct emissions of contemporary PFOA via manufacturing or use in Asia, or (b) from atmospheric transport and oxidation of contemporary PFOA-precursors.
    Environmental Science & Technology 12/2011; 46(2):677-85. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is the most prominent perfluoroalkyl contaminant in humans and wildlife, but there is great uncertainty in exposure pathways, particularly with respect to the importance of PFOS-precursors (PreFOS). We explored the hypothesis that nonracemic proportions of chiral PFOS in serum are qualitative and semiquantitative biomarkers of human PreFOS exposure. A new chiral HPLC-MS/MS method was developed for alpha-perfluoromethyl branched PFOS (1m-PFOS, typically 2-3% of total PFOS) and applied to enantiomer fraction (EF) analysis in biological samples. In blood and tissues of rodents exposed subchronically to electrochemical PFOS, 1m-PFOS was racemic (EF = 0.485-0.511) and no evidence for enantioselective excretion was found in this model mammal. 1m-PFOS in serum of pregnant women, from Edmonton, was significantly nonracemic, with a mean EF (±standard deviation) of 0.432 ± 0.009, similar to pooled North American serum. In a highly exposed Edmonton family (mother, father, and 5 children) living in a house where ScotchGard had been applied repeatedly to carpet and upholstery, EFs ranged from 0.35 to 0.43, significantly more nonracemic than in pregnant women. Semiquantitative estimates of % serum 1m-PFOS coming from 1m-PreFOS biotransformation in both subpopulations were in reasonable agreement with model predictions of human exposure to PFOS from PreFOS. The data were overall suggestive that the measured nonracemic EFs were influenced by the relative extent of exposure to PreFOS. The possibility of using 1m-PFOS EFs for assessing the relative contribution of 1m-PreFOS (or PreFOS in general) in biological samples requires further application before being fully validated, but could be a powerful tool for probing general sources of PFOS in environments where the importance of PreFOS is unknown.
    Environmental Science & Technology 09/2011; 45(20):8907-14. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atmospheric deposition of perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) in remote regions might arise from transport and degradation of precursors (e.g., perfluorooctanesulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF)-based products or fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs)) or direct transport (e.g., PFCAs in the vapor phase or on particles). To probe the dominant atmospheric source of PFCAs, historical trends in environmental FTOH, PFOSF, and direct perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) emissions were compared to the flux of PFCAs (sum of C7-C13 perfluoroalkyl chain lengths) and PFCA isomer signatures in dated sediment cores from two remote alpine lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Contributions from PFOSF-based substances and direct transport of PFOA were ruled to be minimal because no branched isomers were detected in either core and temporal trends for direct emission of PFOA did not match the flux measurements. PFCA flux to Lake Opabin sediment agreed well with reported FTOH emissions, including a peak in mid-2003 and subsequent decline. In Lake Oesa, agreement between PFCA flux and FTOH emissions was also good up to 2004, but a subsequent decline was only detected for some PFCA congeners through 2008, while others continued to increase. Overall, both the isomer profiles and the temporal trend data suggest that FTOH oxidation is the dominant atmospheric source of PFCAs to these high alpine lakes. The efficacy of recent industry phase-out initiatives was difficult to assess due to the divergent temporal trends in samples after 2003; thus, continued monitoring is suggested at remote sites such as these.
    Environmental Science & Technology 08/2011; 45(17):7188-94. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are detectable in the general population and in the human environment, including house dust. Sources are not well characterized, but isomer patterns should enable differentiation of historical and contemporary manufacturing sources. Isomer-specific maternal-fetal transfer of PFCs has not been examined despite known developmental toxicity of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) in rodents. We elucidated relative contributions of electrochemical (phased out in 2001) and telomer (contemporary) PFCs in dust and measured how transplacental transfer efficiency (TTE; based on a comparison of maternal and cord sera concentrations) is affected by perfluorinated chain length and isomer branching pattern. We analyzed matching samples of house dust (n = 18), maternal sera (n = 20), and umbilical cord sera (n = 20) by isomer-specific high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. PFOA isomer signatures revealed that telomer sources accounted for 0-95% of total PFOA in house dust (median, 31%). This may partly explain why serum PFOA concentrations are not declining in some countries despite the phase-out of electrochemical PFOA. TTE data indicate that total branched isomers crossed the placenta more efficiently than did linear isomers for both PFOS (p < 0.01) and PFOA (p = 0.02) and that placental transfer of branched isomers of PFOS increased as the branching point moved closer to the sulfonate (SO3-) end of the molecule. Results suggest that humans are exposed to telomer PFOA, but larger studies that also account for dietary sources should be conducted. The exposure profile of PFOS and PFOA isomers can differ between the mother and fetus-an important consideration for perinatal epidemiology studies of PFCs.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 07/2011; 119(11):1659-64. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A method for isomer profiling of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in water was developed and applied to quantitatively assess the contributions from electrochemical (ECF) and telomer manufacturing processes around source regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. With the exception of 3 sites in Japan, over 80% of total perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, C(7)F(15)COO(-)) was from ECF, with the balance attributable to strictly linear (presumably telomer) manufacturing source(s). Comparing PFOA isomer profiles in samples from China, with PFOA obtained from a local Chinese manufacturer, indicated <3% difference in overall branched isomer content; thus, exclusive contribution from local ECF production cannot be ruled out. In Tokyo Bay, ECF, linear-telomer, and isopropyl-telomer sources contributed to 33%, 53%, and 14% of total PFOA, respectively. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS, C(8)F(17)SO(3)(-)) isomer profiles were enriched in branched content (i.e., >50% branched) in the Mississippi River but in all other locations were similar or only slightly enriched in branched content relative to historical ECF PFOS. Isomer profiles of other PFCs are also reported. Overall, these data suggest that, with the exception of Tokyo Bay, ECF manufacturing has contributed to the bulk of contamination around these source regions, but other sources are significant, and remote sites should be monitored.
    Environmental Science & Technology 11/2010; 44(23):9049-54. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extent to which perfluorooctanesulfonate precursors (PreFOS) play a role in human or environmental exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is not well characterized. The diversity of manufactured PreFOS and its degradation products (e.g. C(8)F(17)SO(2)R and C(8)F(17)SO(2)NR'R'', where R is H or F, and R' and R'' are various) has made it difficult to track their fate. Temporal trends of PFOS in both humans and wildlife are discrepant, thus it is difficult to predict future exposure, and hypotheses about the role of PreFOS have been raised. Although abiotic degradation of commercially important PreFOS materials requires further research, current data suggest that the yield of PFOS is negligible or minor. On the other hand, in vivo biotransformation of PreFOS yields PFOS as the major metabolite, and >32% yields have been observed. In Canadians, exposure to PreFOS was equivalent or greater than direct PFOS exposure prior to 2002. In most ocean water, PFOS is dominant to PreFOS, but in the oceans east of Greenland there may be more PreFOS than PFOS, consistent with the fact that whales and humans in this region also show evidence of substantial PreFOS exposure. Quantitative assessments of PFOS body-burdens coming from PreFOS are complicated by the fact that PreFOS partitions to the cellular fraction of blood, thus biomonitoring in serum under predicts PreFOS relative to PFOS. Many unknowns exist that prevent accurate modelling, thus analytical methods that can distinguish directly manufactured PFOS, from PFOS that has been biotransformed from PreFOS, should be applied in future human and environmental monitoring. Two new source tracking principles are presented and applied to human serum.
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring 10/2010; 12(11):1979-2004. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS; C(8)F(17)SO(3) (-)) bioaccumulation and toxicity have been demonstrated in both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. The majority of investigations have examined total PFOS concentrations in wildlife and in toxicity testing, but isomer-specific monitoring studies are less common, and no laboratory-based study of PFOS isomer accumulation in fish has been reported. The present study examined accumulation and maternal transfer of PFOS isomers in zebrafish and tissue-specific accumulation of PFOS isomers in trout parr. A median lethal dose (LC50) of 22.2 and 2.5 mg/L was calculated for adult zebrafish and trout parr, respectively. A two-week PFOS exposure resulted in tissue-specific PFOS accumulation in trout, with maximum concentrations identified in the liver tissue (>50 microg/g). Prior exposure to PFOS as alevin did not affect the accumulation of PFOS in tissues later in life. In both species, accumulation of branched PFOS isomers generally occurred to a lesser extent than linear PFOS, which may explain the relative deficiency of branched PFOS isomers in some aquatic species in the field. Analysis of exposed trout tissues indicated that isomer discrimination may occur at the level of elimination or uptake and elimination processes in the kidney or gill, respectively. When zebrafish underwent a reproductive cycle in the presence of PFOS, approximately 10% (wt) of the adult PFOS body burden was transferred to the developing embryos, resulting in a higher total PFOS concentration in eggs (116 +/- 13.3 microg/g) than in the parent fish (72.1 +/- 7.6 microg/g). The isomer profile in eggs was not significantly different from that of adults, suggesting that the maternal transfer of branched and linear PFOS isomers in fish is largely nonisomer specific.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 09/2010; 29(9):1957-66. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: On August 2, 2005, Air France Flight 358 descended on Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto, ON, Canada) during adverse weather conditions and overran the runway, leading to an onboard fire which destroyed the aircraft. Large quantities (48000L) of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) were applied to the burning fuselage within meters of Etobicoke Creek. Local authorities could not confirm the identity of the AFFF formulation applied, but chemical analyses of fish livers collected 9 days post-AFFF application indicated that no perfluorinated acids (PFAs) were elevated at the site of application or downstream. This, and higher concentrations of a fluorotelomer sulfonate in fish liver collected downstream, suggests that an AFFF containing telomerized polyfluorinated material was likely used. However, as an urbanized stream within a heavily developed commercial, industrial, and residential watershed, background levels of perfluorinated compounds in Etobicoke Creek were considerable at all sites. Enlarged fish livers adjacent the AFFF-application site, commensurate with depressed peroxisomal beta-oxidation and hepatic oxidative stress, demonstrate some short-term impact of the AFFF on exposed fish within 9 days of its release. Most fish biochemical responses had recovered to normal values by 120 days, although there was some indication that AFFF-associated contamination shifted further downstream over this interval. This study suggests contemporary AFFFs exert relatively low toxicity on fish communities under realistic exposure scenarios.
    Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 02/2010; 98(2):120-9. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    Jonathan P Benskin, Amila O De Silva, Jonathan W Martin
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    ABSTRACT: The two major manufacturing techniques for perfluorochemicals can be distinguished based on the isomeric profile of their products. ECF (major use from 1950s to 2002) results in a product containing both linear and branched isomers, while telomerization (major use from 2002 to present) typically yields an isomerically pure, linear product. Among the most important question today, which has implication for future regulation of these chemicals, is to what extent human and environmental exposure is from historical products (i.e., ECF) versus currently manufactured fluorochemicals (i.e., telomer). Perfluoroalkyl-chain branching can also affect the physical and chemical properties of these chemicals, which may influence their environmental transport and degradation, partitioning, bioaccumulation, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity. Unless perfluorinated substances are considered as individual isomers, much of this information will be overlooked or missed altogether, which could potentially lead to inaccuracies in human and environmental risk assessments. In this review, we have highlighted novel findings, current knowledge gaps, and areas for improvement based on early experiments on the disposition of PFA and PFA-precursor isomers in the environment. We have also emphasized the wealth of information that can potentially be gleaned from future work in this area, which renders routine adoption of isomer-specific methodologies an attractive and logical next step in the progression of fluorochemicals analysis. However, despite vast improvements in recent years, a fast and comprehensive method capable of separating all major PFA and PFA-precursor isomers, while removing interferences is still required before these methods becomes routine in most labs. Purified and characterized standards of PFOA and PFOS that have isomer profiles consistent with those of historically produced (i.e., 3M) PFOS and PFOA are also required. The limited data available on PFA isomer profiles that exist in the environment and the biological properties of each isomer suggest that examination of isomer profiles may yield clues on the source of PFA contamination to human and the environment. For example, contributions from historical versus current PFOA emissions can be quantified by examining the isomer profile in abiotic samples . Similarly, residual PFOS/PFOA in pre-2002 consumer products may be distinguished from directly emitted PFOS/PFOA by the existence of slight difference in isomer profile. PFOS signatures may also have the potential to distinguish between indirect exposure (via precursors) versus direct exposure (via the sulfonate), based on findings of isomer-specific and/or enantiospecific biotransformation in vitro. Isomer-specific monitoring extended to longer-chain PFAs may also be informative in determining current and historical exposure sources. Finally, given the recent increase of production of PFOSF-based chemicals, following their 2002 phase out, the ability of using isomer profiles to distinguish between historical and currently produced PFOS may also be possible.
    Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology 01/2010; 208:111-60. · 4.13 Impact Factor
  • Jonathan P Benskin, Andrew Holt, Jonathan W Martin
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    ABSTRACT: The exposure sources of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in humans and wildlife are not well characterized. Human biomonitoring data show that PFOS profiles may consist of up to approximately 50% branched isomers, despite the fact that historical direct manufacturing of PFOS generally resulted in products containing no more than approximately 30% branched isomers. These observations cannot be explained based on what is known about the pharmacokinetics of branched PFOS isomers; thus, here we examined the relative isomer-specific biotransformation rates of a model PFOS-precursor (N-ethylperfluorooctane sulfonamide, NEtFOSA) with human microsomes and recombinant human cytochrome P450s (CYPs) 2C9 and 2C19. Using solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-electron capture detection to monitor NEtFOSA disappearance, and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to monitor product formation, we showed that, in general, human microsomes and CYP isozymes transformed the branched isomers more rapidly than linear NEtFOSA. Among branched isomers, perfluoroalkyl branching geometry significantly influenced the rate of biotransformation. As a result, PFOS isomer patterns in biota exposed predominantly to precursors could be much different than expected from the isomer pattern of the precursor. While these data are suggestive that the relatively high abundance of branched PFOS isomers present in some humans, or wildlife, may be explained by substantial exposure to PFOS-precursors, in vivo studies with other relevant PFOS-precursors are warranted to validate this as a biomarker of exposure source.
    Environmental Science and Technology 11/2009; 43(22):8566-72. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a global contaminant and is currently among the most prominent contaminants in human blood and wildlife samples. Although "total PFOS" (SigmaPFOS) analytical methods continue to be the most commonly used for quantification, recent analytical method developments have made it possible to resolve the various isomers of PFOS by HPLC-MS/MS. Characterized technical PFOS standards (i.e., containing a mixture of PFOS isomers) are now available that enable isomer specific quantification of PFOS, however the advantages of such an analysis have notyet been examined systematically. Herein, PFOS isomers have been individually quantified for the first time in real samples and the results are compared to a traditional SigmaPFOS method; the influence of analytical standards and isomer specific electrospray and MS/ MS behavior were also investigated. The two human serum standard reference materials chosen for analysis contained dramaticallydifferent PFOS isomer profiles (approximately 30-50% total branched isomers) emphasizing that isomer patterns should not be ignored and may provide useful information on exposure sources (i.e., direct exposure to PFOS vs indirect exposure from PFOS-precursors). Depending on the sample and the particular MS/MS transition chosen for SigmaPFOS analysis (i.e., 499-->80 or 499-->99), SigmaPFOS concentrations may be over- or underestimated compared to the isomer specific analysis. Differences in the extent of in-source fragmentation and MS/MS dissociation contributed to the systematic analytical bias. It was also shown that SigmaPFOS data are prone to interlaboratory variation due to various choices of PFOS standards and instrumental conditions used. In the future, for either SigmaPFOS or isomer specific PFOS analyses, we suggest that accuracy can be maximized and interlaboratory discrepancies minimized by using a common chemically pure technical PFOS standard characterized by 19F NMR.
    Environmental Science and Technology 10/2009; 43(20):7902-8. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorinated acids have received increasing scientific attention due to their widespread global distribution, environmental persistence and bioaccumulation in wildlife and humans. For perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS, C(6)F(13)SO(3) (-), m/z 399), all existing human data have been generated using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and its most sensitive tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) transitions (m/z 399/80 [SO(3)](-) or m/z 399/99 [SO(3)F](-)), but this may be problematic because of co-eluting endogenous steroid sulfates that share common fragmentation pathways. We examined the magnitude of over-reporting for PFHxS in pregnant women (n = 29), and in pooled serum of males, non-pregnant and pregnant females (n = 3, 100 samples per pool), by comparing m/z 399/80 and 399/99 data with an interference-free transition, m/z 399/119. PFHxS concentrations in pregnant women determined using m/z 399/80 and 399/99 (p < 0.05), but not m/z 399/119, were positively correlated to the response of the steroid sulfates. This led to an average overestimation of PFHxS by 1.5- and 4.7-fold, using m/z 399/80 and 399/99, respectively, and validated the use of m/z 399/119 for the first time. The interferences were a problem in all human serum samples, and analysis of pooled serum revealed statistically significant over-reporting by m/z 399/80 and 399/99 for pregnant women > non-pregnant women > men. The magnitude of over-reporting here represents a worst-case scenario, but the extent to which the published literature values are biased is unknown due to limited details of methods in existing reports. Instead of using the less sensitive m/z 399/119 transition, we showed that an alternative selection of column and mobile phase can allow for sufficient chromatographic separation of the interferences. In conclusion, it was shown that routine analytical methods are prone to systematically overestimating PFHxS concentrations in serum of men or women, but that this can be avoided by alternative chromatographic steps or MS/MS transitions.
    Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 04/2009; 23(10):1405-10. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two major industrial synthetic pathways have been used to produce perfluorinated acids (PFAs) or their precursors: Telomerization and electrochemical fluorination (ECF). Products of telomer and ECF origin can be distinguished by structural isomer profiles. A mixture of linear and branched perfluoroalkyl isomers is associated with ECF. Telomer products characteristically consist of a single perfluoroalkyl geometry, typically linear. In biota, it is unclear if the isomer profile is conserved relative to the exposure medium and hence whether PFA isomer profiles in organisms are useful for distinguishing environmental PFA sources. A companion study suggested isomer-specific disposition following a single oral gavage exposure to rats. To confirm these findings under a more realistic subchronic feeding scenario, male and female rats were administered PFA isomers by diet for 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week depuration period. The diet contained 500 ng/g each of ECF perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, approximately 80% n-PFOA), ECF perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS, approximately 70% n-PFOS), and linear and isopropyl perfluorononanoate (n- and iso-PFNA). Blood sampling during the exposure phase revealed preferential accumulation of n-PFOA and n-PFNA compared to most branched isomers. Female rats depurated all isomers faster than males. Both sexes eliminated most branched perfluorocarboxylate isomers more rapidly than the n-isomer. Elimination rates of the major branched PFOS isomers were not statistically different from n-PFOS. Two minor isomers of ECF PFOA and one branched PFOS isomer had longer elimination half-lives than the n-isomers. Although extrapolation of these pharmacokinetics trends in rats to humans and wildlife requires careful consideration of dosage level and species-specific physiology, cumulative evidence suggests that perfluorocarboxylate isomer profiles in biota may not be suitable for quantifying the relative contributions of telomer and ECF sources.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 11/2008; 28(3):555-67. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorinated acids (PFAs) and their precursors (PFA-precursors) exist in the environment as linear and multiple branched isomers. These isomers are hypothesized to have different biological properties, but no isomer-specific data are currently available. The present study is the first in a two-part project examining PFA isomer-specific uptake, tissue distribution, and elimination in a rodent model. Seven male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered a single gavage dose of approximately 500 microg/kg body weight perfluorooctane sulfonate (C(8)F(17)SO(3)(-), PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (C(7)F(15)CO(2)H, PFOA), and perfluorononanoic acid (C(8)F(17)CO(2)H, PFNA) and 30 microg/kg body weight perfluorohexane sulfonate (C(6)F(13)SO(3)(-), PFHxS). Over the subsequent 38 d, urine, feces, and tail-vein blood samples were collected intermittently, while larger blood volumes and tissues were collected on days 3 and 38 for isomer analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). For all PFAs, branched isomers generally had lower blood depuration half-lives than the corresponding linear isomer. The most remarkable exception was for the PFOS isomer containing an alpha-perfluoromethyl branch (1m-PFOS), which was threefold more persistent than linear PFOS, possibly due to steric shielding of the hydrophilic sulfonate moiety. For perfluoromonomethyl-branched isomers of PFOS, a structure-property relationship was observed whereby branching toward the sulfonate end of the perfluoroalkyl chain resulted in increased half-lives. For PFHxS, PFOA, and PFOS, preferential elimination of branched isomers occurred primarily via urine, whereas for PFNA preferential elimination of the isopropyl isomer occurred via both urine and feces. Changes in the blood isomer profiles over time and their inverse correlation to isomer elimination patterns in urine, feces, or both provided unequivocal evidence of significant isomer-specific biological handling. Source assignment based on PFA isomer profiles in biota must therefore be conducted with caution, because isomer profiles are unlikely to be conserved in biological samples.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 11/2008; 28(3):542-54. · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Jonathan P Benskin, Mahmoud Bataineh, Jonathan W Martin
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    ABSTRACT: A comprehensive method was developed to simultaneously separate and detect perfluorinated acid (PFA) and PFA-precursor isomers using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A linear perfluorooctyl stationary phase and acidified mobile phase increased separation efficiency, relative to alkyl stationary phases, for the many perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (PFCA), perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFSA), and perfluorooctyl sulfonamide (PFOSA) isomers and in combination with their distinct MS/MS transitions allowed full resolution of most isomers in standards. Utilizing the absence of the "9-series" and "0-series" product ions, several perfluorooctane sulfonate (C8F17SO3-, PFOS) isomers were structurally elucidated. In human serum, only perfluorooctane sulfonamide (C8F17SO2NH2, FOSA) and PFOS consisted of significant quantities of branched isomers, whereas PFCAs were predominantly linear. Interferences that coelute with the m/z 499 --> 80 transition of PFOS on alkyl stationary phases were simultaneously separated and identified as taurodeoxycholate isomers, removal of which permitted the use of the more sensitive m/z 80 product ion and a resulting 20-fold decrease in PFOS detection limits compared to the m/z 499 --> 99 transition (0.8 pg versus 20 pg using m/z 80 and 99, respectively). Interferences in human serum which caused a 10-20-fold over-reporting of perfluorohexane sulfonate (C6F13SO3-, PFHxS) concentrations on alkyl stationary phases were also simultaneously separated from linear PFHxS and identified as endogenous steroid sulfates. PFOSA isomers, generated with human microsomes, had different rates of metabolism, suggesting that the perfluoroalkyl branching pattern may affect the biological properties of individual isomers. This fact, and for reasons of improved accuracy and sensitivity, investigators are urged to utilize more efficient separation methods capable of isomer characterization in perfluoroalkyl research.
    Analytical Chemistry 09/2007; 79(17):6455-64. · 5.70 Impact Factor