Are perfluoroalkyl substances in water and fish from drinking water source the major pathways towards human health risk?

By Jing Meng, Sifan Liu, Yunqiao Zhou, and Tieyu Wang
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
July 23, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.06.010


Due to potential adverse effects and bioaccumulation in biota and humans, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have raised wide attention in recent years. Ingestion is a vital pathway for PFASs to transmit to humans especially through water and fish. In present study, PFASs in water and fish from the drinking water source of Beijing in China were investigated. Three layers of water were collected in order to find the connection between concentrations of PFASs and depth of water, which showed no prominent correlation. PFASs in water from Miyun Reservoir with concentrations of 5.30–8.50 ng/L, were relatively lower compared with other reports on raw drinking water. Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were the dominant PFASs. In addition, six species of fish (including Cyprinus carpio, Carassius auratus, Erythroculter dabryi, Pseudohemiculter disparHypophthalmichthys molitrix and Siniperca chuatsi) were analyzed, with concentrations of PFASs ranging from 1.70 to 14.32 ng/g wet weight (w.w.). Due to relatively stronger bioaccumulation potential, long chain perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs) were detected with higher concentrations, especially perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUdA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). The estimated daily intake (EDI) of PFASs through drinking water and fish consumption were 0.20–0.34 and 3.44–12.61 ng/kg bw/day based on Exposure Factors Handbook of Chinese Population, respectively. In addition, the EDI of high-priority concern PFASs via pork, chicken and dust were also calculated, with value of 0.015–0.043, 0.003–0.013 and 0.074–0.390 ng/kg bw/day, respectively. The total EDI of PFOS and PFOA via diverse pathways were less than suggested tolerable daily intake (PFOS, 150 ng/kg bw/day; PFOA, 1500 ng/kg bw/day), indicating that the detected levels would not cause severe health effects on Beijing residents.



• PFBA and PFOA were dominant PFASs in water from drinking water source of Beijing.

• Exposure of PFBA, PFDA and PFUdA were the highest due to consumption of fish.

• Exposure risk of PFASs via fish was the highest, followed by dust and water.

• The human intake of PFASs for different age groups were 3.74–13.40 ng/kg bw/day.

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