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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus)



Kady Palmer, Jacqueline T. Bangma, Jessica L. Reiner, Robert Bonde, Jeffery Korte, Ashley Russell, John Bowden


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, synthetic anthropogenic chemicals known to infiltrate and persist in biological systems as a result of their stability and bioaccumulation potential. This study investigated 15 PFAS, including short-chain carboxylic and sulfonic acids, and their presence in a threatened herbivore, the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Seven of the 15 PFAS examined were detected in manatee plasma. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) (ranging from 0.13 to 166 ng/g ww) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (ranging from 0.038 to 3.52 ng/g ww) were detected in every manatee plasma sample examined (n = 69), with differing medians across sampling sites in Florida, Crystal River (n = 39), Brevard County (n = 18), Everglades National Park (n = 8), and four samples (n = 4) from Puerto Rico. With an herbivorous diet and long life-span, the manatee provides a new perspective to monitoring PFAS contamination.
Marine Pollution Bulletin


PFAA, PFOS, West Indian manatee, health parameters, cholesterol, Florida, Puerto Rico


Palmer, K. , Bangma, J. , Reiner, J. , Bonde, R. , Korte, J. , Russell, A. and Bowden, J. (2019), Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plasma of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Marine Pollution Bulletin (Accessed September 21, 2023)
Created February 28, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021