Size and age-concentration relationships for perfluoroalkyl substances in stingray livers from eastern Australia

While the literature has reported a widespread occurrence of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine biota, very limited studies have been dedicated to the southern hemisphere. This study investigated hepatic concentrations of nine PFAAs in 49 stranded stingrays from eastern Australia using liquid chromatograph coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, relationships with biological parameters (i.e. body size, age and sex) were analysed. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) were the predominant compounds quantified, with hepatic concentrations varying from 2 to 117 and from 0.2 to 19ng·g(-1) w.w., respectively. A negative correlation between the concentration of PFASs in the livers of 32 blue-spotted stingrays and the body size/age was found. This relationship was independent of the animal’s sex. The authors postulate that the dependence on body size is related to differing uptake kinetics of the chemicals, after the sting rays were exposed to an increased level of the contaminants in their environment. Such a pollution event could be related to a severe flood event that occurred at this location a few months before the samples’ collection. The authors concluded that the findings from the present study indicate that the influence of the body size/age should be taken into account when estimating bioaccumulation parameters from environmental measurements or exposure levels of biota to PFASs.

Authors: Baduel C, Lai FY, Townsend K, Mueller JF. ;Full Source: Science of the Total Environment. 2014 Oct 15;496:523-30. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.07.010. Epub 2014 Aug 7. ;