Distribution and long-range transport of polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Arctic, Atlantic Ocean and Antarctic coast


The global distribution and long-range transport of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were investigated using seawater samples collected from the Greenland Sea, East Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean in 2009–2010. Elevated levels of ΣPFASs were detected in the North Atlantic Ocean with the concentrations ranging from 130 to 650 pg/L. In the Greenland Sea, the ΣPFASs concentrations ranged from 45 to 280 pg/L, and five most frequently detected compounds were perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS). PFOA (15 pg/L) and PFOS (25–45 pg/L) were occasionally found in the Southern Ocean. In the Atlantic Ocean, the ΣPFASs concentration decreased from 2007 to 2010. The elevated PFOA level that resulted from melting snow and ice in Greenland Sea implies that the Arctic may have been driven by climate change and turned to be a source of PFASs for the marine ecosystem.
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