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Do concentrations of perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAAs) in isopods reflect concentrations in soil and songbirds? A study using a distance gradient from a fluorochemical plant

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAAs) are persistent chemicals that have been detected globally in the environment and in wildlife. Although it is known that PFAAs sorb to solid matrices, little is known on PFAA concentrations in soils. PFAA pollution has often been studied in aquatic invertebrates. However, this has rarely been done on terrestrial species. In the present study, we examined whether the concentrations of 15 PFAAs in isopods (Oniscidae), collected at a fluorochemical plant and in four other areas, representing a gradient in distance from the pollution source (1 km to 11 km), were related to those in the soil and in eggs of a songbird, the great tit (Parus major), collected in the same areas. Additionally, we examined the effect of physicochemical properties such as total organic carbon (TOC) and clay content on the relationship between the concentrations in soil and isopods. Finally, we examined the composition profile in the soil and isopods. Mean PFOS and PFOA concentrations of 1700 ng/g dw and 24 ng/g dw were detected in the soil at the plant. PFOS and PFPeA were the dominant PFAAs in isopods and were detected at mean concentrations of 253 and 108 ng/g ww, respectively. The great tit eggs showed elevated mean PFOS concentrations of 55,970 ng/g ww. In most cases, PFAA concentrations decreased with increasing distance from the plant. As PFAA concentrations in isopods were correlated with concentrations in the soils, isopods could serve as a bioindicator for PFAA concentrations in soils. Additionally, there were indications that isopods could also serve as a bioindicator for PFAA concentrations in eggs of great tits. However, these indications were only the case at two locations, showing the need to further monitor the possibilities of using isopods as a bioindicator for PFAA concentrations in song bird eggs. Capsule Elevated PFAA concentrations in isopods reflected concentrations in songbird eggs and in soil, indicating that trophic transfer of PFAAs from soil, via isopods, to songbirds might play a role in the PFAA exposure of terrestrial songbirds.
Journal: Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
Volume: 657
Pages: 111 - 123
Publication year:2019