Distribution of perfluorinated compounds in aquatic systems in The Netherlands

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The distribution of 15 perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) among eel (Anguilla anguilla), sediment, and water was investigated for 21 locations in The Netherlands. Furthermore, for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), a 30 year time series was measured for three locations using historical eel samples. These historical samples revealed concentrations increasing by a factor of 2-4 until the mid-1990s, followed by a return to the initial levels. In the samples described here, PFOS dominated aqueous concentrations, ranging from 4.7 to 32 ng/L in water, from 0.5 to 8.7 ng/g in sediment, and from 7 to 58 ng/g in eel filet. Field-based sediment water distribution coefficients (KD) were calculated and corrected for organic carbon content (KOC), which reduced variability among samples. Log KOC ranges were 2.6-3.7 for the C7-C9 carboxylic acids and 2.2-3.2 for the C4-C8 sulfonates. Bioaccumulation factors (log BAFs) for eel ranged from 1.09-3.26 for the C7-C9 carboxylic acids to 1.4-3.3 for the C4-C8 sulfonates. Perfluoroalkyl chain length correlated well with both sorption and bioaccumulation factors. Magnitudes and trends in KD or BAF appeared to agree well with previously published laboratory data. Results imply that PFCs are mainly present in water, which is important for PFC fate modeling and risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3746-3751
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • sprague-dawley rats
  • perfluoroalkyl contaminants
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate
  • lake-ontario
  • food-web
  • temporal trends
  • acid isomers
  • surfactants
  • water
  • sorption


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