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Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in the Plasma of South African Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus)



Jessica L. Reiner, John Bowden, Ian Christie, Matthew P. Guillette, Theresa M. Cantu, Russell H. Lowers, Hannes Botha, Wilmien Luus-Powell, Willem J. Smit, Danny Govender, Danie Pienaar, Louis J. Guillette Jr.


Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) are environmental contaminants that have been used in many products for over 50 years. Interest and concern has grown since 2000 on the widespread presence of PFAAs, when it was discovered that PFAAs were present in wildlife samples around the northern hemisphere. Since then, several studies have reported PFAAs in wildlife from Antarctica to the Arctic. Although there are a multitude of studies, few studies have assessed PFAAs in reptiles or wildlife south of the equator. This study investigated the presence of PFAAs in the plasma of crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from South Africa. Crocodiles were captured from five sites in and around the Kruger National Park, South Africa, and the plasma samples were examined for PFAAs. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the most common PFAA detected; with mean values of 24.3 ng/g wet mass in crocodiles. In addition to PFOS, long chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids were also detected. Correlations between overall size and PFAA load were investigated, as were differences in PFAA accumulation between sexes. No correlations were seen between crocodile size, nor were there sex-related differences. Spatial differences were examined and significant differences were observed in samples collected from the different sites (p


Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs), PFOS, PFNA, Nile crocodiles, South Africa


Reiner, J. , Bowden, J. , Christie, I. , Guillette, M. , Cantu, T. , Lowers, R. , Botha, H. , Luus-Powell, W. , Smit, W. , Govender, D. , Pienaar, D. and Guillette, L. (2016), Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in the Plasma of South African Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), Chemosphere, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created July 1, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018