Assessment of regional and temporal trends in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances using the Oriental Magpie (Pica serica) in Korea

By Kiwan Park, Mandana Barghi, Jae-Eun Lim, Hye-Mee Ko, Hyun-Young Nam, Sang-Im Lee, and Hyo-Bang Moon
Sci Total Environ
June 29, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148513

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used in industrial and commercial products due to their amphiphilic properties. Birds have been utilized as biomonitoring species due to their environmental pollutant vulnerability and wide distribution. The Oriental Magpie (Pica serica) is a representative residential species inhabiting terrestrial environments. In this study, we measured PFAS concentrations in Magpie liver tissue (n = 253) collected from 12 Korean regions in 2004 and 2017. The predominant compounds were perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS; mean: 23.8 ng/g wet weight), perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA; 2.79 ng/g), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA: 2.11 ng/g). We observed significant correlations between Magpie PFAS measurements, indicating similar sources and bioaccumulation processes. Adult females showed significantly lower PFOS concentrations than adult males and young males and females, indicating that avian sex is a crucial physiological factor of PFAS accumulation. PFOS, perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluorotetradecanoic acid (PFTeDA) concentrations in urban regions were significantly higher than rural regions. PFOS concentrations in Magpie livers increased significantly between sampling years, whereas C11-C13 carboxylic acids (PFCAs) decreased. This suggests that urbanization and population are major factors in Magpie PFAS accumulation. Almost all hepatic PFOS concentrations were below the threshold values proposed by previous studies, implying limited risks. Our findings suggest that the Oriental Magpies are PFAS sentinel in residential environments. This is the first comprehensive report on biomonitoring of PFASs using the Oriental Magpie.

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