Perfluorinated compounds in marine surface waters: data from the Baltic Sea and methodological challenges for future studies


Poly- and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are chemicals of emerging environmental concern. Except for very few coastal sites, PFC contamination of the Baltic Sea has not been investigated. In order to assess the PFC contamination of Baltic Sea water and evaluate the spatial distribution of PFCs, 74 surface water samples from the entire Baltic Sea were taken during two sampling campaigns in the summer of 2008 and analysed for PFCs. Of 40 analysed PFCs, 13 were detected at concentrations below 1 ng L–1, which indicates a rather low PFC contamination of Baltic Sea surface water. Usually, PFOA was the analyte observed in highest concentrations followed by PFNA, PFBS, and PFOS. PFC concentrations decreased from the Kattegat to the Bothnian Bay and the Gulf of Finland, reflecting the decreasing population density and thus the potential contamination in corresponding catchments or the decreasing influence of potentially contaminated North Sea water.
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