Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factors (BSAFs) for Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS)

By Lawrence P Burkhard and Lauren K Votava
Environ Toxicol Chem
November 18, 2022
DOI: 10.1002/etc.5526

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used in commercial products such textiles, firefighting foams, and surface coatings across the globe and some PFAS are known to be bioaccumulative in aquatic species. The ultimate sink for numerous anthropogenic chemicals is the sediments in the lakes, rivers, and oceans. To understand the relationship between sediment and aquatic species, a literature search was performed and biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) data for 17 taxonomic classes were assembled. The carbonyl and sulfonyl PFAS classes were relatively data rich while phosphate (no measurements), ether (one chemical), and fluorotelomer (limited number of chemicals) PFAS classes are data poor. Taxonomic classes of Teleostei and Clitellata had the largest BSAFs while Magnoliopsida and Bivalvia had smallest BSAFs and BSAFs (kg-OC/kg-ww) values greater than 1 were very rare. Across all studies, median (±standard deviation) whole body Teleostei BSAFs for PFOS and PFOA (kg-OC/kg-ww) were 0.0580 (±0.445, n=60) and 0.00283 (±0.103,24), respectively. Laboratory measured BSAFs were consistently larger than field measured BSAFs, i.e., 53 of 67 comparisons were larger (80%). Comparing BSAFs across taxonomic classes, 72% of the BSAFs were significantly different (α=0.05). Comparing BSAFs within a taxonomic class, BSAFs were significantly different for 63% of the taxonomic classes. Elimination kinetics for benthic invertebrates suggests steady-state conditions might be reached in the 28-day uptake portion of a laboratory bioaccumulation test for some test species. The largest data gaps, beyond limited measurements, are understanding the effects of concentration and mixtures upon bioaccumulation from sediments, quantifying the difference if any in BSAFs between freshwater and brackish/marine ecosystems, and models for predicting BSAFs based upon concentrations in sediment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;00:0-0. © 2022 SETAC.

View on PubMed