, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 7940-7948
Date: 16 Apr 2013

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in food and water from Faroe Islands

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Diet and drinking water are suggested to be major exposure pathways for perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). In this study, food items and water from Faroe Islands sampled in 2011/2012 were analyzed for 11 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and 4 perfluoroalkane sulfonic acids (PFSAs). The food samples included milk, yoghurt, crème fraiche, potatoes, fish, and fish feed, and the water samples included surface water and purified drinking water. In total, nine PFCAs and four PFSAs were detected. Generally, the levels of PFAS were in the lower picogram per gram range. Perfluorobutanoic acid was a major contributor to the total PFASs concentration in water samples and had a mean concentration of 750 pg/L. Perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) was predominating in milk and wild fish with mean concentrations of 170 pg/g. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) was most frequently detected in food items followed by PFUnDA, perfluorononanoic acid, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Levels of PFUnDA and PFOA exceeded those of PFOS in milk and fish samples. Prevalence of long-chain PFCAs in Faroese food items and water is confirming earlier observations of their increase in Arctic biota. Predominance of short-chain and long-chain homologues indicates exposure from PFOS and PFOA replacement compounds.

Responsible editor: Leif Kronberg