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Issue 1, 2012
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Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in wildlife from an urban estuary

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Previous research has documented the bioaccumulation of perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in apex predators in remote locations but few studies have evaluated urban estuaries. To assess the importance of PFCs in San Francisco Bay, two apex predators in the San Francisco Bay, double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii), were sampled. Prey fish (Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens) were also evaluated to better understand potential sources of PFCs to the foodweb. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the primary PFC detected in cormorant eggs, small fish and harbor seal serum. PFOS detected in San Francisco Bay seal serum was typically an order of magnitude higher than those at the reference site. PFOS concentrations were highest in seals and cormorant eggs from the highly urbanized southern portion of the Bay. PFOS in eggs from the southern part of the Bay remained relatively constant between 2006 and 2009 despite the phase-out of perfluorosulfonyl-based compounds nationally. In addition, these levels exceed the avian predicted no effects concentration of 1.0 μg mL−1. Concentrations of the remaining PFCs measured were substantially lower than those of PFOS.

Graphical abstract: Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in wildlife from an urban estuary

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Supplementary files

Article information

27 Jul 2011
14 Nov 2011
First published
02 Dec 2011

J. Environ. Monit., 2012,14, 146-154
Article type

Perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in wildlife from an urban estuary

M. D. Sedlak and D. J. Greig, J. Environ. Monit., 2012, 14, 146
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10609K

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