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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Oct 1;39(19):7416-22.

Temporal and spatial trends of perfluorinated compounds in ringed seal (Phoca hispida) from Greenland.

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  • 1National Environmental Research Institute, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000-Roskilde, Denmark.


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and related compounds, have been identified as global pollutants and have shown their bioaccumulation into higher trophic levels in the food chain. PFCs have been found in remote areas far from sources, such as the Arctic. In this study spatial and temporal trends in the concentrations of selected PFCs were measured using archived liver samples of ringed seal (Phoca hispida) from East and West Greenland. The samples were collected in four different years at each location, between 1986 and 2003 in East Greenland and between 1982 and 2003 in West Greenland. PFOS was the major contributor to the burden of PFCs in samples, followed by perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnA). Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) were also detected in most samples. Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) were only found sporadically. Perfluorooctanoic acid was not found in detectable concentrations in any sample. Regression analysis of logarithmic transformed PFOS, PFDA, and PFUnA median concentrations indicated a significant temporal trend with increasing concentrations at both locations. A spatial trend in PFOS concentrations (ANOVA, p < 0.0001) was observed between the two sampling locations, with significantly higher concentrations in seals from East Greenland.

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