Legacy and alternative per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in a subtropical marine food web from the Beibu Gulf, South China: Fate, trophic transfer and health risk assessment

By Chang-Gui Pan, Shao-Ke Xiao, Ke-Fu Yu, Qi Wu, and Ying-Hui Wang
J. Hazard. Mater.
September 8, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123618

The usage of alternative per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has been increasing due to the restriction and elimination of legacy PFASs. However, there is limited knowledge on bioaccumulation and trophic magnification of alternative PFASs, especially in subtropical ecosystems. In the present study, we performed a comprehensive survey to investigate the occurrence, bioaccumulation and trophic magnification of legacy and alternative PFASs in subtropical marine food webs in the Beibu Gulf, South China. Results showed that perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were the predominant PFASs in water phase, while perfluorooctane sufonate (PFOS) contributed most to the sum of target PFASs in sediments and marine organisms. Of the investigated PFASs, PFOS and 6:2 chlorinated polyfluoroalkyl ether sulfonic acids (F-53B) exhibited the highest bioaccumulation factor with values > 5000, qualifying as very bioaccumulative chemicals. There was a significant positive correlation between log BSAF and the carbon chain length of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs). Trophic magnification (TMF) was observed for PFOS and F-53B, while the remaining PFASs were biodiluted through the present food web. The hazard ratios for PFOS and PFOA in all organisms were far less than unity, suggesting overall low PFAS risks for humans through consumption of marine organisms.

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