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Amila O. De Silva

Amila O. De Silva
Environment and Climate Change Canada · Aquatic Contaminants Research Division

PhD Chemistry

About

71
Publications
12,870
Reads
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4,276
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - October 2016
University of Toronto
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Planned, designed, and instructed field sampling lab for 25 students in undergraduate/graduate course in Binbrook Conservation Area for water, sediment, and invertebrate sampling.
April 2016 - April 2016
University of Toronto
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Presented 1 hour lecture on Environmental Analysis of Substituted Diphenylamine Antioxidants (SDPAs); undergraduate/graduate course
February 2015 - February 2015
University of Toronto Mississauga
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Presented 2 hour lecture on Organic Contaminants in Ecosystems –phys. properties, translocation, partitioning, biomagnification, chemical transformation, Stockholm POPs Convention; M. Sc. Sustainability Management program
Education
September 2002 - June 2008
University of Toronto
Field of study
  • Chemistry (Environmental)
September 2000 - January 2003
McGill University
Field of study
  • Analytical Chemistry
September 1995 - May 2000
Carleton University
Field of study
  • Environmental Science - Chemistry

Publications

Publications (71)
Article
Through ingestion and subsequent egestion, Arctic seabirds can bioaccumulate microplastics at and around their colony breeding sites. While microplastics in Arctic seabirds have been well documented, it is not yet understood to what extent these particles can act as transport vehicles for plastic-associated contaminants, including legacy persistent...
Article
Full-text available
Ultraviolet absorbents (UVAs) and industrial antioxidants (IAs) are contaminants of emerging concern. In this study, we investigated the distribution and partitioning of these contaminants in surface water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), sediment, and various tissues of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) and northern pike (Esox lucius) from...
Article
Climate change brings about significant changes in the physical environment in the Arctic. Increasing temperatures, sea ice retreat, slumping permafrost, changing sea ice regimes, glacial loss and changes in precipitation patterns can all affect how contaminants distribute within the Arctic environment and subsequently impact the Arctic ecosystems....
Article
We measured perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in proglacial rivers and along a non-glacial freshwater continuum to investigate the role of snow and ice melting in their transport and fate within the Lake Hazen watershed (82° N). PFAS concentrations in glacial rivers were higher than those in surface waters of Lake Hazen, suggesting melting glacial i...
Article
Short-chain polychlorinated n-alkanes are ubiquitous industrial chemicals widely recognized as persistent organic pollutants. They represent only a small fraction of the 184,600 elemental compositions (C10–25) and the myriad isomers of all possible (mixed) halogenated n-alkanes (PXAs). This study prioritizes the PXAs on the basis of their potential...
Article
Many chemicals in commonly used household and industrial products are being released into the environment, yet their toxicity is poorly understood. The synthetic phenolic antioxidant, 4,4′-thiobis(6-t-butyl-m-cresol) (CAS 96-69-5; TBBC) is present in many common products made of rubber and plastic. Yet, this phenolic antioxidant has not been tested...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological impact of tire wear particles in aquatic ecosystems is a growing environmental concern. In this study, we combined toxicity testing, using fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) embryos, with non‐target high‐resolution liquid chromatography Orbitrap mass spectrometry to characterize the toxicity and chemical mixture of organic chemical...
Article
Full-text available
Many types of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been found in leachate of operating municipal landfills. However, there is only limited information on CECs presence in leachate of historic landfills (≥3 decades since closure, often lacking engineered liners or leachate collection sy...
Article
Full-text available
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are industrial chemicals that are of concern due to their environmental presence, persistence, bioaccumulative potential, toxicity, and capacity for long-range transport. Despite a large body of research on environmental exposure, insufficient chronic aquatic toxicity data e...
Article
Restrictions on the production and use of some highly toxic and persistent flame retardants has resulted in the increased use of alternative phosphate flame retardants that are less-well characterized. The brominated organophosphate ester flame retardant, tris(tribromoneopentyl) phosphate (CAS 19186-97-1, molecular formula C15H24Br9O4P, molecular w...
Article
Full-text available
Short chain perfluoroalkylcarboxylic acids (scPFCAs, CxF2x+1COOH, x ≤ 3) are persistent compounds formed from atmospheric oxidation of fluorotelomer compounds and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) replacements introduced as a result of the Montreal Protocol. Understanding sources and impacts of scPFCAs has been limited by observational data. We report multi...
Article
Full-text available
Organophosphate esters (OPE) have been detected in Arctic environment, but the influence of glacial melt on the environmental behavior of OPE in recipient Arctic aquatic ecosystems is still unknown. In this study, water samples were collected from Lake Hazen (LH) and its tributaries to investigate the distribution of 14 OPE in LH and to explore the...
Article
Benzotriazole UV‐stabilizers (BZT‐UVs) are commonly used as additives to protect from light‐induced degradation in a variety of consumer goods. Despite their widespread presence in aquatic ecosystems, information on the effects of these compounds remain largely unknown. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the chronic effects of two...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to advance analytical methods for detecting oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) seepage from mining containments and discriminating any such seepage from the natural bitumen background in groundwaters influenced by the Alberta McMurray formation. Improved sampling methods and quantitative analyses of two groups o...
Article
Bromo-chloro alkenes (Br-Cl PXAs) have been used for over 30 years as flame retardants and are listed on several national chemical inventories. Very little publicly available information is available on Br-Cl-PXAs and thus preliminary ecological risk screening is challenging due to lack of basic information such as molecular structure and associate...
Article
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) are of ecological concern due to their ubiquitous presence and adverse effects. There is a paucity of data on environmental fate of such compounds in mangrove wetlands, which are unique ecosystems in coastal intertidal areas and act as natur...
Article
The delivery of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from snowpacks into Lake Hazen, located on Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, Canada, 82º N) indicates that annual atmospheric deposition is a major source of PFAS that undergoes complex cycling in the High Arctic. Perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCA) in snowpacks display odd-even concentration ratios char...
Article
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) are of ecological concern due to their ubiquitous presence and adverse effects. There is a paucity of data on environmental fate of such compounds in mangrove wetlands, which are unique ecosystems in coastal in-tertidal areas and act as natu...
Article
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) are contaminants of emerging environmental concern. However, little is known about the occurrence of these contaminants in the Arctic. In this study, we investigated the levels of 11 SDPAs and 6 BZT-UVs in livers and eggs of two seabird species, the black-legg...
Article
Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) can have multiple sources in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR). The current study was designed to identify and explore the potential of nitrogen heterocyclic PACs (NPACs) as source indicators in snowpack, lake sediment and passive air samples from the AOSR during 2014-2015. Source samples including petroleum...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are synthetic environmentally-persistent pollutants that are amenable to long-range transport and accumulation in remote Arctic ecosystems. In this study, historical inventories of twenty-three PFASs (i.e. C 4 -C 14 , C 16 perfluoroalkane carboxylic acids (PFCAs); C 4 , C 6 -C 8 , C 10 perfluoroalkane sulfonic acid...
Article
Full-text available
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are important environmental contaminants globally and in the early 2000s they were shown to be ubiquitous contaminants in Arctic wildlife. Previous reviews by Butt et al. and Letcher et al. have covered studies on levels and trends of PFASs in the Arctic that were available to 2009. The purpose of this re...
Article
Legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and emerging perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were measured in vegetation and soil samples collected at remote lakes in the Canadian High Arctic. Field studies were carried out in 2015 and 2016 to assess concentrations of POPs, s...
Article
Synthetic phenolic antioxidants (SPAs) are of emerging concern due to their potential environmental risks. However, the environmental occurrence and fate of SPAs are poorly understood. In this study, 13 SPAs were analyzed in 70 liquid and 21 solid samples from 12 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in 2016 to investigate the distribution and compos...
Article
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) are additives used in industrial and commercial applications to prevent degradation by oxidation and are contaminants of emerging environmental concern. Little is known about the fate of these contaminants in wildlife, particularly in reptiles, birds and marin...
Article
Organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been found in remote environments at unexpectedly high concentrations, but very few measurements of OPE concentrations in seawater are available, and none are available in subsurface seawater. In this study, passive polyethylene samplers (PEs) deployed on deep-water moorings in the Fram Strait and in surface water...
Article
Full-text available
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent, in some cases, bioaccumulative compounds found ubiquitously within the environment. They can be formed from the atmospheric oxidation of volatile precursor compounds and undergo long-range transport (LRT) through the atmosphere and ocean to remote locations. Ice caps preserve a temporal record of PFAA de...
Article
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) are industrial additives of emerging environmental concern. However, the bioaccumulation, biomagnification and spatial distribution of these contaminants in the Great Lakes of North America are unknown. The present study addresses these knowledge gaps by repor...
Article
Full-text available
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent, bioaccumulative compounds found ubiquitously within the environment. They can be formed from the atmospheric oxidation of volatile precursor compounds and undergo long-range transport through the atmosphere and ocean to remote locations. Ice caps preserve a temporal record of PFAA deposition making them...
Article
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) have been detected in aquatic organisms, but little is known about their tissue distribution and elimination in wildlife. The present study investigates the distribution of SDPAs and BZT-UVs in blood plasma, bile, liver and carcass (without gill and internal o...
Article
Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMSs) and organophosphate esters (OPEs) are two suites of chemicals that are of environmental concern as organic contaminants, but little is known about the exposure of wildlife to these contaminants, particularly in birds, in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The present study investigates the spatial distributions of n...
Article
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) are additives used in industrial and consumer products to prevent degradation or color change of materials, but their environmental fate and disposition are not well characterized. In this study, SDPAs and BZT-UVs were analyzed in 68 liquid and 39 solid sample...
Article
Benzotriazole UV-stabilizers (BZT-UVs) are compounds used in many applications and products to prevent photochemical degradation. Despite their widespread presence in aquatic ecosystems and persistence in the environment, there are very limited data on their effects and toxicity, and their modes of action remain largely unknown. The objectives of t...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPIAs) are perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) that are used for their surfactant properties in a variety of applications, resulting in their presence in environmental waters; however, they have not been widely studied in biota. A survey of PFPIAs was conducted in fish, dolphins, and birds from various locations in North...
Article
Perfluoroethylcyclohexane sulfonate (PFECHS), mainly used in hydraulic fluids in aircrafts, is a member of the perfluoroalkyl sulfonate family which includes the regulated perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFECHS has been reported in environmental samples but its toxicity to aquatic organisms is unknown. The objectives of this study were to identif...
Article
Full-text available
Substituted diphenylamine antioxidants (SDPAs) and benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs), previously under reported classes of organic contaminants, were determined in sediment, water, and freshwater biota in an urban creek in Canada. SDPAs and BZT-UVs were frequently detected in all matrices including upstream of the urban area in a rural agricul...
Article
Analytical methods were developed for the determination of eight substituted diphenylamines (SDPAs) and six benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BZT-UVs) in blood plasma and fish homogenate matrices. Liquid-liquid extraction by methyl tert-butyl ether and denaturation by KOH following silica gel packed column clean-up was employed for blood plasma prepara...
Article
Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances(PFASs) enter Arctic lakes through long-range atmospheric transport and local contamination, but their behavior in aquatic food webs at high latitudes is poorly understood. This study compared the concentrations of perfluorocarboxylates, perfluorosulfonates, and fluorotelomer sulfonates (FTS) i biotic and ab...
Article
Indoor dust is thought to be a source of human exposure to perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluorosulfonates (PFSAs) but exposures to emerging organofluorine compounds, including precursors to PFCAs and PFSAs via indoor dust remain unknown. We report an analytical method for measuring several groups of emerging phosphorus-containing fluorinated...
Article
Exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) may arise directly, from emission and exposure to PFOS itself, or indirectly via the environmental release and degradation of PFOS-precursors. Human serum enantiomer fractions (EFs) of 1m-PFOS have been shown to be nonracemic, suggesting that PFOS-precursors are a significant source of PFOS in humans, bu...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl contaminants (PFCs) were determined in Lake Ontario Lake Trout sampled annually between 1997 and 2008 in order to assess how current trends are responding to recent regulatory bans and voluntary phase-outs. We also combined our measurements with those of a previous study to provide an updated assessment of long-term trends. Concentra...
Article
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 perfluoro...
Article
Full-text available
Standard reference materials (SRMs) are homogeneous, well-characterized materials used to validate measurements and improve the quality of analytical data. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a wide range of SRMs that have mass fraction values assigned for legacy pollutants. These SRMs can also serve as test materials for...
Article
The perfluorophosphonates (PFPAs) and perfluorophosphinates (PFPiAs) are high production volume chemicals that have been observed in Canadian surface waters and wastewater environments. To examine whether their occurrence would result in contamination of organisms in aquatic ecosystems, juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were separately e...
Article
Per- and poly-fluorinated compounds (PFCs), which include perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) and sulfonates (PFSAs) and various precursors, are used in a wide variety of industrial, commercial and domestic products. This includes aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), which is used by military and commercial airports as fire suppressants. In a prelimin...
Article
The biomagnification behavior of perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs) was studied in terrestrial food webs consisting of lichen and plants, caribou, and wolves from two remote northern areas in Canada. Six PFCAs with eight to thirteen carbons and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were regularly detected in all sp...
Article
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 bi...
Article
The transport dynamics of perfluorinated carboxylic acids and sulfonates during snowmelt in the highly urbanized Highland Creek watershed in Toronto, Canada was investigated by analyzing river water, bulk snow, and groundwater, sampled in February and March 2010, by means of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Perfluorohexanoate, perflu...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this article is to summarize new biological monitoring information on perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in aquatic ecosystems (post-2005) as a followup to our critical review published in 2006. A wider range of geographical locations (e.g., South America, Russia, Antarctica) and habitats (e.g., high-mountain lakes, deep-ocean, and offshor...
Article
Perfluoroethylcyclohexanesulfonate (PFECHS) is a cyclic perfluorinated acid (PFA) mainly used as an erosion inhibitor in aircraft hydraulic fluids. It is expected to be as recalcitrant to environmental degradation as aliphatic PFAs including perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). For the first time, PFECHS is reported in to...
Article
Full-text available
The ubiquitous detection of perfluorinated acids (PFAs) and their precursors (PFA precursors) in the global environment has led to concern over their effects in humans and wildlife. This is exacerbated by evidence of developmental toxicity (Lau et al. 2007; Apelberg et al. 2007; Fei et al. 2008), along with persistence, chain length-dependent bioac...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAs) are a family of highly persistent compounds which are present in the environment as a result of degradation of polyfluorinated precursors, from use as processing aids for production of fluoropolymers, and use in fire fighting foams. The purpose of this study was to investigate prevailing concentrations and possible sourc...
Article
Perfluorinated acids are anthropogenic pollutants with primarily two industrial synthetic routes: electrochemical fluorination (ECF) and telomerization. A mixture of structural isomers is produced by ECF, while telomerization conserves the geometry of its starting materials, which are typically linear. To contribute to a discussion on sources of pe...
Article
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, ti...
Article
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 produ...
Article
Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and other perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) are widely dispersed in the environment. Current and/or historical production of PFOA and fluorochemical precursors was conducted by telomerization and electrochemical fluorination (ECF). Telomer products typically contain linear chains of perfluorocarbons, and ECF products are a mix...
Article
Detection of perfluorocarboxylate anions (PFCAs), such as perfluorooctanoate (C7F15COO-, PFOA), at ng/g levels in human tissues has engendered public scrutiny of industrial fluorochemicals. Routes of PFCA exposure for the general human population are likely diverse given direct (industrially produced) and indirect (production from precursor organof...
Article
The source of involatile, anthropogenic perfluorocarboxylate anions (PFCAs) in biota from remote regions is of heightened interest due to the persistence, toxicity, and bioaccumulation of these materials. Large-scale production of fluorinated compounds is carried out primarily by one of two methods: electrochemical fluorination (ECF) and telomeriza...
Article
Human and animal tissues collected in urban and remote global locations contain persistent and bioaccumulative perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs). The source of PFCAs was previously unknown. Here we present smog chamber studies that indicate fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) can degrade in the atmosphere to yield a homologous series of PFCAs. Atm...

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Projects (3)
Project
Evaluate toxicological effects of prioritized chemical contaminants using transcriptomic, biochemical, cellular, and organism and population levels indicators in aquatic organisms