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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2008 Nov;71(3):749-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.04.002. Epub 2008 Jun 5.

Acute and chronic aquatic toxicity of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) to freshwater organisms.

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  • 1Solvay Solexis, Bollate, Italy.


Recent concerns have been raised concerning the widespread distribution of perfluorinated compounds in environmental matrices and biota. The compounds of interest include ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO, the ammonium salt of perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA). APFO is used primarily as a processing aid in the production of fluoropolymers and fluoroelastomers. The environmental presence of perfluorooctanoate (PFO(-), the anion of APFO) and its entry into the environment as APFO make quality aquatic toxicity data necessary to assess the aquatic hazard and risk of APFO. We conducted acute and chronic freshwater aquatic toxicity studies with algae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, the water flea, Daphnia magna, and embryo-larval rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, using OECD test guidelines and a single, well-characterized sample of APFO. Acute 48-96 h LC/EC(50) values were greater than 400mg/l APFO and the lowest chronic NOEC was 12.5mg/l for inhibition of the growth rate and biomass of the freshwater alga. Un-ionized ammonia was calculated to be a potential significant contributor to the observed toxicity of APFO. Based on environmental concentrations of PFO(-) from various aquatic ecosystems, the PNEC value from this study, and unionized ammonia contributions to observed toxicity, APFO demonstrates little or no risk for acute or chronic toxicity to freshwater and marine aquatic organisms at relevant environmental concentrations.

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