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Environ Sci Technol. 2001 Apr 15;35(8):1593-8.

Accumulation of perfluorooctane sulfonate in marine mammals.

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  • 1National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, Department of Zoology, Institute of Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a perfluorinated molecule that has recently been identified in the sera of nonindustrially exposed humans. In this study, 247 tissue samples from 15 species of marine mammals collected from Florida, California, and Alaskan coastal waters; and northern Baltic Sea; the Arctic (Spitsbergen); and Sable Island in Canada were analyzed for PFOS. PFOS was detected in liver and blood of marine mammals from most locations including those from Arctic waters. The greatest concentrations of PFOS found in liver and blood were 1520 ng/g wet wt in a bottlenose dolphin from Sarasota Bay, FL, and 475 ng/mL in a ringed seal from the northern Baltic Sea (Bothnian Sea), respectively. No age-dependent increase in PFOS concentrations in marine mammals was observed in the samples analyzed. The occurrence of PFOS in marine mammals from the Arctic waters suggests widespread global distribution of PFOS including remote locations.

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