FEASIBILITY OF USING THE NATIONAL MARINE MAMMAL TISSUE BANK FOR RETROSPECTIVE EXPLORATORY STUDIES OF PERFLUORINATED ALKYL ACIDS

Published: December 26, 2017

Author(s)

Jennifer M. Lynch, Jared M. Ragland, Amanda J. Moors, Rebecca S. Pugh, Jessica L. Reiner

Abstract

Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) have been used for more than 50 years in materials such as stain-resistant treatments for paper and clothing, lubricants, and foam fire extinguishers. PFAAs are characterized by a fully fluorinated alkyl chain with a terminal acid group. Their long half-lives and ubiquitous environmental distribution create considerable concern for wildlife and human exposure. There is interest in examining temporal trends of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and other PFAAs using the National Marine Mammal Tissue Bank (NMMTB), but NMMTB tissues are frozen in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)- based materials and cryohomogenized in PTFE disc mills. Because PTFE supplies may leach PFAAs into samples, this study mimicked collection, processing and storage steps of NMMTB samples and measured PFAA leaching to determine the feasibility of using this sample archive for PFAA temporal trends. We also explored concentrations in white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus, WSDs) and rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis, RTDs) blubber (n = 3 and 0) and liver (n= 48 and 12, respectively). The materials used in NMMTB protocols may add up to 0.968 ng/g PFOA, 0.090 ng/g PNFA, and 0.221 ng/g PFOS to each archived sample. Leaching of PFNA and PFOS from supplies compared to dolphin levels was negligible, but PFOA contributions were substantially higher than levels found in most dolphin liver samples. Therefore, monitoring PFOA temporal trends from the NMMTB would require careful consideration. RTDs had significantly higher levels of PFOS and PFNA than WSDs. Since both species are similar in life history, trophic status, and foraging behaviors in deep pelagic waters, the differences could be due to latitudinal differences in contamination. RTDs stranded in Florida, whereas WSDs stranded farther north mostly in Massachusetts. Juveniles had significantly higher levels of PFOS and PFNA than adults in both species, suggesting gro
Citation: Science of the Total Environment
Volume: 624
Pub Type: Journals

Download Paper

Keywords

Marine Mammals, PFAAs, PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, Data exploration, specimen banking
Created December 26, 2017, Updated December 29, 2017