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      Occurrence of perfluoroalkyl substances in selected Victorian rivers and estuaries: An historical snapshot

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          Abstract

          This reconnaissance study was undertaken in 2012 to examine the occurrence of common perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluoroalkyl sulphonic acids and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids in rivers and estuaries in Port Philip Bay, Victoria, Australia. In total, 19 PFAS were screened in grab samples of water using a combination of solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry measurement techniques. Eighteen of the PFAS screened were observed in samples. The highest level of PFOS observed at a freshwater site was 0.045 μg/L; this concentration is approximately half the draft Australian 95% species protection level for total PFOS. The highest level of PFOA in the study (0.014 μg/L) was some four orders of magnitude lower than the draft Australian trigger value for PFOA (220 μg/L). However, none of the PFAS observed at the freshwater sites had research quotient (RQ) or toxicity unit (TU) values above 1 or -3, respectively. The highest concentration of PFOS observed at an estuarine site was 0.075 μg/L; the highest level of PFOA, 0.09 μg/L). There are no Australian marine water quality trigger values for PFAS, so potential risk was assessed using the European environment quality standards (EQS) adopted in EU Directive 2013/39/EU, RQ and TU methods. In that context, none of the PFAS observed at estuary sites had concentrations higher than the EU standards, or RQ above 1 or Log 10 TU above -3. Together these assessments suggest none of the PFAS screened would have posed an acute risk to organisms in the fresh or estuary waters studied at the time of sampling on an individual or collective basis. However, the detection of these PFAS in Victorian estuaries highlights that the issue is not just an issue for more densely populated countries in the northern hemisphere, but also potentially of concern in Australia. And, in that context, more sampling campaigns in Port Philip Bay are of paramount importance to assess the potential risk pose by these compounds to aquatic ecosystems.

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          Most cited references66

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          A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)?

          More than 3000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are, or have been, on the global market, yet most research and regulation continues to focus on a limited selection of rather well-known long-chain PFASs, particularly perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their precursors. Continuing to overlook the vast majority of other PFASs is a major concern for society. We provide recommendations for how to proceed with research and cooperation to tackle the vast number of PFASs on the market and in the environment.
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            Analyzing effects of pesticides on invertebrate communities in streams.

            The aim of this investigation was to find patterns in aquatic invertebrate community composition that are related to the effects of pesticides. Investigations were carried out in 20 central European streams. To reduce the site-specific variation of community descriptors due to environmental factors other than pesticides, species were classified and grouped according to their vulnerability to pesticides. They were classified as species at risk (SPEAR) and species not at risk (SPEnotAR). Ecological traits used to define these groups were sensitivity to toxicants, generation time, migration ability, and presence of aquatic stages during time of maximum pesticide application. Results showed that measured pesticide concentrations of 1:10 of the acute 48-h median lethal concentration (LC50) of Daphnia magna led to a short- and long-term reduction of abundance and number of SPEAR and a corresponding increase in SPEnotAR. Concentrations of 1:100 of the acute 48-h LC50 of D. magna correlated with a long-term change of community composition. However, number and abundance of SPEAR in disturbed stream sections are increased greatly when undisturbed stream sections are present in upstream reaches. This positive influence compensated for the negative effect of high concentrations of pesticides through recolonization. The results emphasize the importance of considering ecological traits and recolonization processes on the landscape level for ecotoxicological risk assessment.
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              A global survey of perfluorinated acids in oceans.

              Perfluorinated acids and their salts have emerged as an important class of global environmental contaminants. Biological monitoring surveys conducted using tissues of marine organisms reported the occurrence of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and related perfluorinated compounds in biota from various seas and oceans, including the Arctic and the Antarctic Oceans. Occurrence of perfluorinated compounds in remote marine locations is of concern and indicates the need for studies to trace sources and pathways of these compounds to the oceans. Determination of sub-parts-per-trillion (ng/L) or parts-per-quadrillion (pg/L) concentrations of aqueous media has been impeded by relatively high background levels arising from procedural or instrumental blanks. Our research group has developed a reliable and highly sensitive analytical method by which to monitor perfluorinated compounds in oceanic waters. The method developed is capable of detecting PFOS, perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHS), perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), and perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA) at a few pg/L in oceanic waters. The method was applied to seawater samples collected during several international research cruises undertaken during 2002-2004 in the central to eastern Pacific Ocean (19 locations), South China Sea and Sulu Seas (five), north and mid Atlantic Ocean (12), and the Labrador Sea (20). An additional 50 samples of coastal seawater from several Asian countries (Japan, China, Korea) were analyzed. PFOA was found at levels ranging from several thousands of pg/L in water samples collected from coastal areas in Japan to a few tens of pg/L in the central Pacific Ocean. PFOA was the major contaminant detected in oceanic waters, followed by PFOS. Further studies are being conducted to elucidate the distribution and fate of perfluorinated acids in oceans.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Elsevier
                2405-8440
                16 September 2019
                September 2019
                16 September 2019
                : 5
                : 9
                : e02472
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia
                [b ]National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8569, Japan
                [c ]School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001, Australia
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. graeme.allinson@ 123456rmit.edu.au
                Article
                S2405-8440(19)36132-8 e02472
                10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02472
                6819856
                ded04917-44c6-47fd-85c3-e05057feed74
                © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                History
                : 28 April 2019
                : 18 August 2019
                : 10 September 2019
                Categories
                Article

                environmental science,environmental analysis,environmental assessment,environmental chemistry,environmental pollution,water quality,perfluoroalkyl sulphonic acids,estuary,port philip bay,perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids

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