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Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Dec 15;42(24):9397-403.

Fractionation and bioaccumulation of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) isomers in a Lake Ontario food web.

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  • 1Aquatic Ecosystem Protection Research Division, Water Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The environmental ubiquity of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is well-known. However, little is known about the environmental fate of individual PFOS isomers. In this study, we investigated the fractionation and the bioaccumulation of PFOS isomers in water, sediment and biota collected from Lake Ontario. A total of six isomers, three perfluoro-monomethyl-substituted compounds, and three perfluoro-dimethyl isomers in addition to the linear PFOS (L-PFOS) were detected in water, sediment and biota. L-PFOS represented a much higher proportion of total PFOS (sum of linear and branched) in all organisms (>88%) compared to its proportion in technical PFOS (77%). The predominance of L-PFOS suggests a reduced uptake of branched isomers, a more rapid elimination of the branched isomers and/or a selective retention of the L-PFOS. The PFOS isomer profile found in biota was very similar to sediment, even for pelagic organisms such as zooplankton, suggesting greater partitioning of L-PFOS to biota and to sediment. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for L-PFOS between lake trout (whole fish) and water was estimated to be 3.4 x 10(4) L/kg compared with 2.9 x 10(3) L/kg for the monomethyl-substituted group (MM-PFOS). The remarkable difference between L-PFOS and branched isomer BAFs is due to an enrichment of branched isomers in water. The trophic magnification factor of L-PFOS (4.6 +/- 1.0) was greater than MM-PFOS isomers (1.3 +/- 0.17 to 2.6 +/- 0.51), whereas dimethyl-PFOS showed no biomagnification. The results illustrate the important influence of molecular structure on the bioaccumulation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonates.

PMID:
19174922
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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