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Research article2017Peer reviewed

Variation and accumulation patterns of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in European perch (Perca fluviatilis) across a gradient of pristine Swedish lakes

Akerblom, Staffan; Negm, Nesrin; Wu, Pianpian; Bishop, Kevin; Ahrens, Lutz


This study assessed variations in the concentrations of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in European perch (Percafluviatilis) in Swedish lakes and the extent to which fish size, age and indicators of fish trophic ecology (delta N-15 and delta C-13) correlate with the sum of individual PFAS concentrations (Sigma PFAS). Fish muscle tissue samples (n = 80) were taken from six lakes across Sweden and analysed using solid-liquid extraction followed by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). PFAS levels in the lakes were affected by atmospheric deposition in relatively pristine areas with no direct point source of PFAS in the catchment. PFTeDA, PFUnDA, PFTriDA, PFDoDA, PFDA, PFOS and 6:2 FTSA were detected with a frequency between 68% and 99% and were included in the statistical evaluation. Sigma PFAS differed between lakes (ANOVA: F = 50.6, p < 0.0001): fish from lakes in southern Sweden (lake Gardsjon, 58 degrees 03'N, 12 degrees 01'E) showed elevated levels of PFAS, with a maximum Sigma PFAS of 3.4 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww) (mean +/- SD: 0.99 +/- 0.63 ng ww), while the lowest levels were found in lake Bjorntjarn (031 +/- 0.08 ng g(-1), ww) in northern Sweden (63 degrees 54'N, 18 degrees 51'E). PFOS was most abundant in perch from south-western Sweden, while other long-chain perfluorocarbons (>10 carbon atoms) were relatively more abundant in lakes in northern Sweden. Pearson correlation coefficients indicated that concentrations of PFAS in perch did not show any relation to fish size or age and were negatively correlated with trophic position of the fish (delta N-15). It was also found that Sigma PFAS were negatively correlated with both latitude and altitude. The PFAS data in this study represent national background concentrations in freshwater fish across Swedish lakes. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances; PFOS; Sweden; European perch; Atmospheric deposition

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2017, Volume: 599, pages: 1685-1692