AbstractTotal body burden and tissue distribution of polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were investigated in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from the German Bight in 2007. A total number of 18 individual PFCs from the following groups could be quantified in the different tissues: perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs) and their precursors perfluorinated sulfinates (PFSiAs), perfluorinated sulfonamides, and sulfonamido ethanols. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) was the predominant compound in all measured seal tissues (up to 1665 ng g−1 wet weight in liver tissue). The dominant PFCAs were perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), but their concentrations were much lower compared to PFOS. The mean whole body burden in harbor seals of all detected PFCs was estimated to be 2665 ± 1207 μg absolute. The major amount of the total PFCs burden in the bodies was in blood (38%) and liver (36%), followed by muscle (13%), lung (8%), kidney (2%), blubber (2%), heart (1%), brain (1%), thymus (<0.01%) and thyroid (<0.01%). These data suggest large differences in body burden and accumulation pattern of PFCs in marine mammals.