This study was the first to quantitate fourteen perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in 125 adult American alligators at twelve sites across the southeastern US. Of those fourteen PFAAs, nine were commonly detected. Males as a group (across all sites) showed a significantly higher burden of four PFAAs: PFOS (p = 0.01, Figure 2), PFDA (p = 0.0003, Figure S2), PFUnA (p = 0.021, Figure S2), and PFTriA (p = 0.021, Figure S2). Notable differences in plasma PFAA burden between sites were seen for PFOS, PFHxS, and PFDA for males as well as females. Alligators from both Merritt Island and Kiawah Nature Conservancy exhibited some of the highest levels of PFOS (medians 99.5 ng/g and 55.8 ng/g respectively) measured to date in a crocodilian species. A number of positive correlations between PFAA burden and snout vent length (SVL) were observed for both males and females. The strongest correlations were observed between PFOS and females SVL (r = 0.551, p < 0.01) and PFTriA and female SVL(r = 0.570, p < 0.01). In addition, a high number of significant PFAA to PFAA correlations suggest common point sources of PFAAs throughout the southeastern US. In addition to filling in a large gap of knowledge, this study provides another variable to be combined with other contaminant data for the region to assess overall anthropogenic burden and ecosystem health.
Citation: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Pub Type: Journals
PFAA, PFOS, PFHxS, alligators