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      Quantification of Biodriven Transfer of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances from the Aquatic to the Terrestrial Environment via Emergent Insects


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          Emergent aquatic insects are important food subsidies to riparian food webs but can also transfer waterborne contaminants to the terrestrial environment. This study aimed to quantitatively assess this biodriven transfer for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Aquatic insect larvae, emergent aquatic insects, terrestrial consumers, sediment, and water were collected from a contaminated lake and stream and an uncontaminated pond, and analyzed for PFAS and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. Top predators in this study were spiders, which showed the highest average ∑ 24PFAS concentration of 1400 ± 80 ng g –1 dry weight (dw) at the lake and 630 ng g –1 dw at the stream. The transfer of PFAS from the lake to the riparian zone, via deposition of emergent aquatic insects, was 280 ng ∑ 24PFAS m –2 d –1 in 2017 and only 23 ng ∑ 24PFAS m –2 d –1 in 2018. Because of higher production of emergent aquatic insects, the lake had higher PFAS transfer and higher concentrations in terrestrial consumers compared to the stream, despite the stream having higher PFAS concentration in water and aquatic insect larvae. Our results indicate that biodriven transfer of PFAS from the aquatic systems and subsequent uptake in terrestrial food webs depend more on emergence amounts, i.e., aquatic prey availability, rather than on PFAS concentrations in water and aquatic prey.


          PFAS are transferred from contaminated aquatic to the terrestrial ecosystems via insect emergence and the quantity can be substantial compared to other local depositions of PFAS.

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          Sources, fate and transport of perfluorocarboxylates.

          This review describes the sources, fate, and transport of perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) in the environment, with a specific focus on perfluorooctanoate (PFO). The global historical industry-wide emissions of total PFCAs from direct (manufacture, use, consumer products) and indirect (PFCA impurities and/or precursors) sources were estimated to be 3200-7300 tonnes. It was estimated that the majority (approximately 80%) of PFCAs have been released to the environment from fluoropolymer manufacture and use. Although indirect sources were estimated to be much less importantthan direct sources, there were larger uncertainties associated with the calculations for indirect sources. The physical-chemical properties of PFO (negligible vapor pressure, high solubility in water, and moderate sorption to solids) suggested that PFO would accumulate in surface waters. Estimated mass inventories of PFO in various environmental compartments confirmed that surface waters, especially oceans, contain the majority of PFO. The only environmental sinks for PFO were identified to be sediment burial and transport to the deep oceans, implying a long environmental residence time. Transport pathways for PFCAs in the environment were reviewed, and it was concluded that, in addition to atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors, atmospheric and ocean water transport of the PFCAs themselves could significantly contribute to their long-range transport. It was estimated that 2-12 tonnes/ year of PFO are transported to the Artic by oceanic transport, which is greater than the amount estimated to result from atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors.
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            Fate and effects of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances in the aquatic environment: a review.

            Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are distributed ubiquitously in the aquatic environment, which raises concern for the flora and fauna in hydrosystems. The present critical review focuses on the fate and adverse effects of PFASs in the aquatic environment. The PFASs are continuously emitted into the environment from point and nonpoint sources such as sewage treatment plants and atmospheric deposition, respectively. Although concentrations of single substances may be too low to cause adverse effects, their mixtures can be of significant environmental concern. The production of C8 -based PFASs (i.e., perfluorooctane sulfonate [PFOS] and perfluorooctanoate [PFOA]) is largely phased out; however, the emissions of other PFASs, in particular short-chain PFASs and PFAS precursors, are increasing. The PFAS precursors can finally degrade to persistent degradation products, which are, in particular, perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs). In the environment, PFSAs and PFCAs are subject to partitioning processes, whereby short-chain PFSAs and PFCAs are mainly distributed in the water phase, whereas long-chain PFSAs and PFCAs tend to bind to particles and have a substantial bioaccumulation potential. However, there are fundamental knowledge gaps about the interactive toxicity of PFAS precursors and their persistent degradation products but also interactions with other natural and anthropogenic stressors. Moreover, because of the continuous emission of PFASs, further information about their ecotoxicological potential among multiple generations, species interactions, and mixture toxicity seems fundamental to reliably assess the risks for PFASs to affect ecosystem structure and function in the aquatic environment.
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              Are PFCAs bioaccumulative? A critical review and comparison with regulatory criteria and persistent lipophilic compounds.

              Perfluorinated acids, including perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs), and perfluorinated sulfonates (PFASs), are environmentally persistent and have been detected in a variety of wildlife across the globe. The most commonly detected PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), has been classified as a persistent and bioaccumulative substance. Similarities in chemical structure and environmental behavior of PFOS and the PFCAs that have been detected in wildlife have generated concerns about the bioaccumulation potential of PFCAs. Differences between partitioning behavior of perfluorinated acids and persistent lipophilic compounds complicate the understanding of PFCA bioaccumulation and the subsequent classification of the bioaccumulation potential of PFCAs according to existing regulatory criteria. Based on available research on the bioaccumulation of perfluorinated acids, five key points are highlighted in this review: (1) bioconcentration and bioaccumulation of perfluorinated acids are directly related to the length of each compound's fluorinated carbon chain; (2) PFASs are more bioaccumulative than PFCAs of the same fluorinated carbon chain length; (3) PFCAs with seven fluorinated carbons or less (perfluorooctanoate (PFO) and shorter PFCAs) are not considered bioaccumulative according to the range of promulgated bioaccumulation,"B", regulatory criteria of 1000-5000 L/kg; (4) PFCAs with seven fluorinated carbons or less have low biomagnification potential in food webs, and (5) more research is necessary to fully characterize the bioaccumulation potential of PFCAs with longer fluorinated carbon chains (>7 fluorinated carbons), as PFCAs with longer fluorinated carbon chains may exhibit partitioning behavior similar to or greater than PFOS. The bioaccumulation potential of perfluorinated acids with seven fluorinated carbons or less appears to be several orders of magnitude lower than "legacy" persistent lipophilic compounds classified as bioaccumulative. Thus, although many PFCAs are environmentally persistent and can be present at detectable concentrations in wildlife, it is clear that PFCAs with seven fluorinated carbons or less (including PFO) are not bioaccumulative according to regulatory criteria.

                Author and article information

                Environ Sci Technol
                Environ Sci Technol
                Environmental Science & Technology
                American Chemical Society
                24 May 2021
                15 June 2021
                : 55
                : 12
                : 7900-7909
                []Man-Technology-Environment Research Centre, Örebro University , 70182 Örebro, Sweden
                []Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeå University , 90187 Umeå, Sweden
                [§ ]Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) , 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
                Author notes
                Author information
                © 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

                Permits the broadest form of re-use including for commercial purposes, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 21 October 2020
                : 29 April 2021
                : 09 April 2021
                Funded by: Svenska Forskningsr?det Formas, doi 10.13039/501100001862;
                Award ID: 2015-00320
                Funded by: Svenska Forskningsr?det Formas, doi 10.13039/501100001862;
                Award ID: 2016-01158
                Custom metadata

                General environmental science
                pfas,biodriven transfer,emergent aquatic insects,terrestrial consumers


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