Exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) but not perflurorooctanoic acid (PFOA) at ppb concentration induces chronic toxicity in Daphnia carinata

By Panneerselvan Logeshwaran, Anithadevi Kenday Sivaram, Aravind Surapaneni, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ravi Naidu, and Mallavarapu Megharaj
Sci Total Environ
January 26, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144577

Widespread environmental contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is well established. Nevertheless, few studies have reported on the aquatic toxicity of PFAS, especially in indicator species such as Daphnia. In this study, the toxicity of two major PFAS, namely perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), was investigated on water flea (Daphnia carinata) using a battery of comprehensive toxicity tests, including a 48 h acute and a 21-day chronic assays. The survival, growth, and reproduction of D. carinata were monitored over a 21-day life cycle. PFOS exhibited higher toxicity than PFOA. The 48 h LC values (confidence interval) based on acute toxicity for PFOA and PFOS were 78.2 (54.9-105) mg L and 8.8 (6.4-11.6) mg L, respectively. Chronic exposure to PFOS for 21 days displayed mortality and reproductive defects in D. carinata at a concentration as low as 0.001 mg L. Genotoxicity assessment using comet assay revealed that exposure for 96 h to PFOS at 1 and 10.0 mg L significantly damaged the organism's genetic makeup. The results of this study have great implications for risk assessment of PFOS and PFOA in aquatic ecosystems, given the potential of PFOS to pose a risk to Daphnia even at lower concentrations (1 μg L).

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