Levels, Patterns, and Biomagnification Potential of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in a Terrestrial Food Chain in a Nordic Skiing Area

By Randi Grønnestad, Berta Pérez, Vázquez Augustine, Arukwe Veerle, L. B. Jaspers, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Mahin Karimi, Jan L. Lyche, and Åse Krøkje
Environ. Science & Tech.
November 12, 2019
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b02533

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used in a wide range of consumer products, including ski products, such as ski waxes. However, there is limited knowledge on the release of PFASs from such products into the environment and the resultant uptake in biota and transport in food webs. We investigated levels, patterns, and biomagnification of PFASs in soil, earthworms (Eisenia fetida), and Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) from a skiing area in Trondheim, Norway. In general, there was higher PFAS levels in the skiing area compared to the reference area with no skiing activities. The skiing area was dominated by long-chained perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs, ≥70%), while the reference area was dominated by short-chained PFCAs (>60%). The soil PFAS pattern in the skiing area was comparable to analyzed ski waxes, indicating that ski products are important sources of PFASs in the skiing area. A biomagnification factor (BMF) > 1 was detected for Bank volewhole/earthwormwhole for perfluorooctansulfonate in the skiing area. All other PFASs showed a BMF < 1. However, it should be noted that these organisms represent the base of the terrestrial food web, and PFASs originating from ski wax may result to higher exposure in organisms at the top of the food chain.

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