Avian Exposures to Seven Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances in Aquatic Habitats Impacted by Aqueous Film Forming Foam Releases
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Information on the adverse effects of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in animals is primarily limited to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

While detectable levels of PFOS and PFOA in environmental media are known to be present at many sites as a result of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) releases, less is known about other prominent PFAS chemicals. Since birds may have relatively high exposure potential due to consumption of fish, invertebrates, and sediment in aquatic habitats affected by AFFF releases, avian exposures were evaluated for seven PFAS chemicals (PFOS, PFOA, perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecane sulfonate (PFDS), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS)) using measurements from four AFFF sites. Exposure modeling was conducted for four avian receptors representing various avian feeding guilds including: lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Great blue heron (Ardea herodias), and osprey (Pandion haliaetus). On average, 80% of PFAS exposures were from PFOS for all receptors at almost all sites (with the exception of Site A). For the spotted sandpiper and the lesser scaup, PFHxS comprised over 10% of the total daily intake (TDI). The sediment pathway was the dominant exposure route, however surface water route greatly contributed to the great blue heron and osprey PFAS TDI (45% and 59% respectively). These results suggest the need for ecological modeling at sites potentially affected by AFFF releases to include multiple representative species and expand the current focus on PFOS and PFOA to other bioaccumulative PFAS chemicals. This evaluation enhances risk management and risk communication by identifying additional PFAS chemicals (e.g., PFHxS) that have the potential to influence ecological risk-based decision making at AFFF sites.

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Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Emily J. Stinson
  • All Authors: Emily J. Stinson
  • Title: 37th SETAC North America Annual Meeting
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Contaminated Sites, Environmental Management, Water and Natural Resources, Water Management
  • Citation: November 6-10, 2016
  • Date: 2016
  • Location: Orlando, Florida