PFAS Biotransformation Pathways: A Species Comparison Study

By Richard C Kolanczyk, Megan R Saley, Jose A Serrano, Sara M Daley, and Mark A Tapper
January 12, 2023
DOI: 10.3390/toxics11010074

Limited availability of fish metabolic pathways for PFAS may lead to risk assessments with inherent uncertainties based only upon the parent chemical or the assumption that the biodegradation or mammalian metabolism map data will serve as an adequate surrogate. A rapid and transparent process, utilizing a recently created database of systematically collected information for fish, mammals, poultry, plant, earthworm, sediment, sludge, bacteria, and fungus using data evaluation tools in the previously described metabolism pathway software system MetaPath, is presented. The fish metabolism maps for 10 PFAS, heptadecafluorooctyl(tridecafluorohexyl)phosphinic acid (C6/C8 PFPiA), bis(perfluorooctyl)phosphinic acid (C8/C8 PFPiA), 2-[(6-chloro-1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6-dodecafluorohexyl)oxy]-1,1,2,2-tetrafluoroethanesulfonic acid (6:2 Cl-PFESA), -Ethylperfluorooctane-1-sulfonamide (Sulfuramid; N-EtFOSA), -Ethyl Perfluorooctane Sulfonamido Ethanol phosphate diester (SAmPAP), Perfluorooctanesulfonamide (FOSA), 8:2 Fluorotelomer phosphate diester (8:2 diPAP), 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (8:2 FTOH), 10:2 fluorotelomer alcohol (10:2 FTOH), and 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonamide alkylbetaine (6:2 FTAB), were compared across multiple species and systems. The approach demonstrates how comparisons of metabolic maps across species are aided by considering the sample matrix in which metabolites were quantified for each species, differences in analytical methods used to identify metabolites in each study, and the relative amounts of metabolites quantified. Overall, the pathways appear to be well conserved across species and systems. For PFAS lacking a fish metabolism study, a composite map consisting of all available maps would serve as the best basis for metabolite prediction. This emphasizes the importance and utility of collating metabolism into a searchable database such as that created in this effort.

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