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Screening of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in various aquatic organisms

Fernández-Sanjuan, María, Meyer, Johan, Damásio, Joana, Faria, Melissa, Barata, Carlos, Lacorte, Silvia
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2010 v.398 no.3 pp. 1447-1456
Dreissena polymorpha, crabs, detection limit, freshwater, high performance liquid chromatography, insect larvae, marine ecosystems, oysters, perfluorocarbons, sardines, screening, sulfonic acid, tandem mass spectrometry
The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of five perfluorinated chemicals (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid) in aquatic organisms dwelling in either freshwater or marine ecosystems. Organisms selected were insect larvae, oysters, zebra mussels, sardines, and crabs, which are widespread in the environment and may represent potential bioindicators of exposure to PFCs. The study comprises the optimization of a solid-liquid extraction method and determination by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. Using spiked zebra mussels at 10 and 100 ng/g level, the method developed provided recoveries of 96% and 122%, and 82% to 116%, respectively, and a limit of detection between 0.07 and 0.22 ng/g ww. The method was highly sensitivity and robust to determine PFC compounds in a wide array of biological matrices, and no matrix interferents nor blank contamination was observed. Among organisms studied, none of the bivalves accumulated PFCs, and contrarily, insect larvae, followed by fish and crabs contained levels ranging from 0.23 to 144 ng/g ww of PFOS, from 0.14 to 4.3 ng/g ww of PFOA, and traces of PFNA and PFHxS. Assessment of the potential use of aquatic organisms for biomonitoring studies is further discussed.