Levels, Temporal Trends, and Tissue Distribution of Perfluorinated Surfactants in Freshwater Fish from Asian Countries

  • Michio Murakami
  • Nozomi Adachi
  • Mahua Saha
  • Chiaki Morita
  • Hideshige Takada


Perfluorinated surfactants (PFSs) in Asian freshwater fish species were analyzed to investigate tissue distribution, temporal trends, extent of pollution, and level of PFS exposure through food intake. Freshwater fish species, namely carp, snakehead, and catfish, were collected in Japan, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, and Thailand, and 10 PFSs, including perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate, were analyzed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. PFSs in carp in Tokyo were more concentrated in kidneys (Σ10 PFSs = 257 ± 95 ng/g wet weight [ww]) and livers (119 ± 36 ng/g ww) than in ovaries (43 ± 2 ng/g ww) and muscles (24 ± 17 ng/g ww). Concentrations of PFOS and its precursor, perfluorooctane sulfonamide, in livers of carp and in waters in Tokyo showed a dramatic decrease during the last decade, probably because of 3 M’s phasing-out of the manufacture of perfluorooctanesulfonyl-fluoride-based products in 2000. In contrast, continuing contamination by long-chain perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) with ≥ 9 fluorinated carbons was seen in multiple media, suggesting that these compounds continue to be emitted. PFS concentrations in freshwater fish species in tropical Asian countries were generally lower than those in developed countries, such as Japan, e.g., for PFOS in muscle, Vietnam < 0.05–0.3 ng/g ww; India < 0.05–0.2 ng/g ww; Malaysia < 0.05–0.2 ng/g ww; Thailand < 0.05 ng/g ww; and Japan (Tokyo) = 5.1–22 ng/g ww. Daily intake of short-chain PFCAs with ≤ 8 fluorinated carbons from freshwater fish species in Japan was approximately one order of magnitude lower than that from drinking water, whereas daily intake of PFOS and long-chain PFCAs with ≥ 9 fluorinated carbons from freshwater fish species was comparable with or greater than that from drinking water. Because the risk posed by exposure to these compounds through intake of fish species is a matter of concern, we recommend the continued monitoring of PFS levels in Asian developing countries.



We thank laboratory members for their help in collecting the environmental samples. This work was supported in part by KAKENHI (Grant No. 19404001).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michio Murakami
    • 1
  • Nozomi Adachi
    • 2
  • Mahua Saha
    • 2
  • Chiaki Morita
    • 2
  • Hideshige Takada
    • 2
  1. 1.“Wisdom of Water” (Suntory), Corporate Sponsored Research Program, Organization for Interdisciplinary Research ProjectsThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Institute of Symbiotic Science and TechnologyTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyTokyoJapan

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