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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Perfluoroalkyl acids in subarctic wild male mink (Neovison vison) in relation to age, season and geographical area

Persson, Sara; Rotander, Anna; Kärrman, Anna; van Bavel, Bert; Magnusson, Ulf


This study investigates the influence of biological and environmental factors on the concentrations of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in a top predator; the American mink Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) with C-8-C-13 perfluorinated carbon chains were analyzed in livers from wild male mink liver (n = 101) from four areas in Sweden representing two inland environments (rural and highly anthropogenic, respectively) and two different coastal environments. Mean PFOS concentrations were 1250 ng/g wet weight and some mink from the urban inland area had among the highest PFOS concentrations ever recorded in mink (up to 21 800 ng/g wet weight). PFBS was detected in 89% of the samples, but in low concentrations (mean 0.6 ng/g ww). There were significant differences in PFAA concentrations between the geographical areas (p < 0.001-0.01). Age, body condition and body weight did not influence the concentrations significantly, but there was a seasonal influence on the concentrations of perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), with lower concentrations in autumn samples than in samples taken" in the winter and spring. It is thus recommended to take possible seasonal differences into account when using mink exposure data. The overall results suggest that the mink is a suitable sentinel species for assessing and monitoring environmental levels of PFAAs. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Perfluoroalkyl acids; Perfluorinated; PFOS; Mink

Published in

Environment International
2013, Volume: 59, pages: 425-430 Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD