Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Plasma of Smallmouth Bass from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

By Vicki S Blazer, Stephanie E Gordon, Heather L Walsh, and Cheyenne R Smith
Int J Environ Res Public Health
June 9, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18115881

Smallmouth bass is an economically important sportfish and within the Chesapeake Bay watershed has experienced a high prevalence of external lesions, infectious disease, mortality events, reproductive endocrine disruption and population declines. To date, no clear or consistent associations with contaminants measured in fish tissue or surface water have been found. Therefore, plasma samples from two sites in the Potomac River and two in the Susquehanna River drainage basins, differing in land-use characteristics, were utilized to determine if perfluoroalkyl substances were present. Four compounds, perfluorooctane sulphonic acid (PFOS), perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoA), were detected in every fish. Two additional compounds, perfluorooctane sulphonamide (PFOSA) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), were less commonly detected at lower concentrations, depending on the site. Concentrations of PFOS (up to 574 ng/mL) were the highest detected and varied significantly among sites. No seasonal differences (spring versus fall) in plasma concentrations were observed. Concentrations of PFOS were not significantly different between the sexes. However, PFUnA and PFDoA concentrations were higher in males than females. Both agricultural and developed land-use appeared to be associated with exposure. Further research is needed to determine if these compounds could be affecting the health of smallmouth bass and identify sources.

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