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Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Jul 1;44(13):5202-9. doi: 10.1021/es9036447.

Temporal and spatial trends of perfluorinated compounds in juvenile loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) along the East Coast of the United States.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology, Analytical Chemistry Division, Hollings Marine Laboratory, Charleston, South Carolina 29412, USA.


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are globally distributed persistent environmental contaminants. This study provides temporal trends as well as large-scale spatial trends of PFC concentrations in threatened juvenile loggerhead sea turtles near or from Florida Bay (FL Bay), Cape Canaveral (FL), Charleston (SC), Core Sound (NC), and Chesapeake Bay (MD). PFCs were extracted from 163 plasma and serum samples using solid-phase extraction and quantified with LC-MS/MS. Concentrations of six compounds significantly varied by site, with MD or FL Bay turtles having the highest concentrations. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the predominant PFC at all sites (range: 0.31 ng/g to 39.0 ng/g). FL Bay turtles, compared to other sites, accumulated a unique PFC pattern with a higher proportion of perfluorocarboxylates compared to PFOS. Furthermore, this study was the first to statistically correlate wildlife PFC concentrations with human population, used as a proxy for urbanization and sources of PFCs to the environment. Positive relationships were found in which human population accounted for 75 and 81% of the variance in turtle PFOS and perfluoroundecanoate (PFUnA) concentrations (p = 0.06 and 0.04), respectively. PFOS and perfluorononanoate (PFNA) significantly decreased from 2000-2008 in SC turtles annually by 20 and 11%, respectively (p </= 0.02). Future investigations should continue temporal assessments as PFC regulations change, attempt to pinpoint specific sources and transport pathways in areas with unique PFC patterns, and assess turtle health at sites with higher PFC concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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