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Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in marine biota from the Belgian North Sea: distribution and human health risk implications
Byns, C.; Teunen, L.; Groffen, T.; Lasters, R.; Bervoets, L. (2022). Bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in marine biota from the Belgian North Sea: distribution and human health risk implications. Environ. Pollut. 311: 119907. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119907
In: Environmental Pollution. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0269-7491; e-ISSN 1873-6424, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    PFAS; Marine wildlife; Bioaccumulation; Trophic transfer; Consumption risks

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Abstract
    Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are highly persistent chemicals, which pose a potential risk for aquatic wildlife due to their bioaccumulative behaviour and toxicological effects. Although the distribution of PFAS in marine environments has been studied worldwide, little is known on the contamination of PFAS in the southern North Sea. In the present study, the bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) was studied in liver and muscle tissue of seven fish species and in whole-body tissue of two crustacean species, collected at 10 sites in the Belgian North Sea. Furthermore, the human and ecological health risks were examined.Overall, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was predominant in all matrices and other long-chain PFAS were frequently detected. Mean PFOS concentrations ranged from Crangon crangon), plaice (Pleuronecta platessa), sole (Solea solea) and whiting (Merlangus merlangus) might pose potential health risks if it exceeds 17 g/day, 18 g/day, 26 g/day and 43 g/day respectively. Most PFOS measurements did not exceed the QSbiota,hh of 9.1 ng/g ww, however, the benchmark of 33 ng/g ww targeting the protection of wildlife from secondary poisoning was exceeded for 43% and 28% of the samples in plaice and sole.

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