Specific accumulation of perfluorochemicals in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina concolor) from the northwest Atlantic

Marine Environmental Research Institute, Center for Marine Studies, P.O. Box 1652, Blue Hill, ME 04614, USA.
Chemosphere (Impact Factor: 3.34). 12/2008; 74(8):1037-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.10.063
Source: PubMed


Concentrations of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) including perfluoroalkylsulfonates (PFSAs), and perfluoroalkylcarboxylates (PFCAs) were determined in liver of harbor seals (n=68) collected from the northwest Atlantic between 2000 and 2007. Of ten PFCs measured, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations were the highest in liver (8-1388 ng/g, ww), followed by perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) (<1-30.7 ng/g, ww). An unusual accumulation profile of long-chain (C7-C12) PFCAs, and the predominance of PFUnDA, followed by PFNA in seal liver suggested that fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) may be a major source of PFCAs in the northwest Atlantic. No gender-related differences in the concentrations of individual PFCs or total PFCs were found. Concentrations of PFOS and PFDS were higher in tissues of the pups than the adults, whereas concentrations of the PFCAs were similar between pups and adults. PFOS concentrations in the pups were 2.6-fold higher than those in the adult females, suggesting the importance of maternal transfer of PFCs. Hepatic PFOS concentrations were strongly, positively correlated with PFOSA, PFDS and individual PFCAs, indicating that harbor seals are exposed simultaneously to these compounds. Temporal comparisons of hepatic PFC concentrations showed a marginal increase of PFOS and PFCAs in the adult seals from 2000 to 2007. Unlike the spatial trend observed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), no south to north (urban-rural-remote) decreasing trend was observed for PFCs, suggesting the presence of diffuse sources of PFC contamination throughout the northwest Atlantic.

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Available from: Kurunthachalam Kannan
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    • "Fig. 2. Integrated emissions of PFOS and compartment distribution for different scenarios. technologies (Kuklenyik et al., 2004; Van Leeuwen et al., 2006; Yamashita et al., 2004), exposure characteristics (Chen et al., 2011; Naile et al., 2010; Pan and You, 2010; Taniyasu et al., 2003), bioaccumulation (Shaw et al., 2009; Shi et al., 2012; Taniyasu et al., 2003) and toxic effects (Hoff et al., 2004; Ribes et al., 2010; Scialli et al., 2007). Nevertheless , limited attention has been given to the fate and transport of PFOS in multimedia environmental systems. "
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and related substances have been widely applied in both industrial processes and domestic products in China. Exploring the environmental fate and transport of PFOS using modeling methods provides an important link between emission and multimedia diffusion which forms a vital part in the human health risk assessment and chemical management for these substances. In this study, the gridded fugacity based BETR model was modified to make it more suitable to model transfer processes of PFOS in a coastal region, including changes to PFOS partition coefficients to reflect the influence of water salinity on its sorption behavior. The fate and transport of PFOS in the Bohai coastal region of China were simulated under steady state with the modified version of the model. Spatially distributed emissions of PFOS and related substances in 2010 were estimated and used in these simulations. Four different emission scenarios were investigated, in which a range of half-lives for PFOS related substances were considered. Concentrations of PFOS in air, vegetation, soil, fresh water, fresh water sediment and coastal water were derived from the model under the steady-state assumption. The median modeled PFOS concentrations in fresh water, fresh water sediment and soil were 7.20ng/L, 0.39ng/g and 0.21ng/g, respectively, under Emission Scenario 2 (which assumed all PFOS related substances immediately degrade to PFOS) for the whole region, while the maximum concentrations were 47.10ng/L, 4.98ng/g and 2.49ng/g, respectively. Measured concentration data for PFOS in the Bohai coastal region around the year of 2010 were collected from the literature. The reliability of the model results was evaluated by comparing the range of modeled concentrations with the measured data, which generally matched well for the main compartments. Fate and transfer fluxes were derived from the model based on the calculated inventory within the compartments, transfer fluxes between compartments and advection fluxes between sub-regions. It showed that soil and costal water were likely to be the most important sinks of PFOS in the Bohai costal region, in which more than 90% of PFOS was stored. Flows of fresh water were the driving force for spatial transport of PFOS in this region. Influences of the seasonal change of fresh water fluxes on the model results were also analyzed. When only seasonal changes of the fresh water flow rates were considered, concentrations of PFOS in winter and spring were predicted to be higher than that under annual average conditions, while the concentrations in summer and autumn were lower. For PFOS fluxes entering the sea, opposite conclusions were drawn compared to the concentrations. Environmental risks from the presence of PFOS in fresh water were assessed for this region through comparison with available water quality criteria values. The predicted concentrations of PFOS in the Bohai coastal region provided by the model were lower than the water quality criteria published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Chinese researchers, while the concentrations in more than 80% of the sampling locations exceeded the European Union Water Framework Directive Environmental Quality Standards values. Seasonal variations of flow rate might cause a significant increase in environmental risks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Environment international
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    • "Several OH-PCBs are retained in the body, and due to their structural similarity to natural hormones, they pose a high toxicity towards endocrine system. Harbor seals living near industrialized areas are exposed to high concentrations of currently used chemicals, such as various perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (Ahrens et al., 2009; Dietz et al., 2012; Shaw et al., 2009), in addition to PCBs and organochlorine pesticides still in the ecosystem. Although the production and use of the major PFASs, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and related substances, have recently been restricted by the Stockholm Convention (Stockholm Convention, 2009), it is still manufactured in relatively large quantities in China (Xie et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: The world's northernmost harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) population, which inhabits Svalbard, Norway, constitutes a genetically distinct population. The present study reports concentrations of 14 PCBs, 5 chlordanes, p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), mirex, and, α-, β-and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in blubber, and pentachlorophenol, 4-OH-heptachlorostyrene, 10 OH-PCBs and 14 perfluoroalkyl substances in plasma of live-captured harbor seals from this population (4 males, 4 females, 4 juveniles), sampled in 2009-2010. Concentrations of PCB 153, p,p'-DDE, oxychlordane, α-HCH and mirex and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates in Svalbard harbor seals were considerably lower than harbor seal from more southerly populations, while concentrations of HCB, OH-PCBs and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates were similar for harbor seals from Svalbard and southern areas. Concentrations of PCBs and pesticides in the Svalbard harbor seals were 60-90% lower than levels determined a decade ago in this same population. Current concentrations of legacy POPs are not considered a health risk to the harbor seals from Svalbard.
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    • "In addition, there are reports of higher concentrations of some PFAAs in pups compared to adults in harbor seals (Ahrens et al., 2009; Shaw et al., 2009), Baikal seals (Ishibashi et al., 2008) and Northern Sea otters (Hart et al., 2009), and it has been discussed that maternal transfer could be an important source of exposure. Notably, in an analysis of a subset of our data, concentrations of PFHxS and PFOS were significantly lower in 3–5 month old mink (n = 6, K area) than in the older mink (n = 20, K area, p b 0.01), but no significant differences were found for PFNA, PFDA or PFUnDA. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the influence of biological and environmental factors on the concentrations of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in a top predator; the American mink. Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) with C8-C13 perfluorinated carbon chains were analyzed in livers from wild male mink liver (n=101) from four areas in Sweden representing two inland environments (rural and highly anthropogenic, respectively) and two different coastal environments. Mean PFOS concentrations were 1250ng/g wet weight and some mink from the urban inland area had among the highest PFOS concentrations ever recorded in mink (up to 21 800ng/g wet weight). PFBS was detected in 89% of the samples, but in low concentrations (mean 0.6ng/g ww). There were significant differences in PFAA concentrations between the geographical areas (p<0.001-0.01). Age, body condition and body weight did not influence the concentrations significantly, but there was a seasonal influence on the concentrations of perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively), with lower concentrations in autumn samples than in samples taken in the winter and spring. It is thus recommended to take possible seasonal differences into account when using mink exposure data. The overall results suggest that the mink is a suitable sentinel species for assessing and monitoring environmental levels of PFAAs.
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