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Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in African Darter (Anhinga rufa) Eggs along Vaal River, South Africa: Comparison of Homologue and Isomer Profiles
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of toxic and persistent organic compounds. Their properties make them extremely resistant and they have been shown to have bioaccumulation and toxic properties in the environment and also to biomagnify in both aquatic and terrestrial food webs. This study has analysed different PFASs in African Darter (Anhinga rufa) eggs from five sites along Vaal River; Orange River, South Africa. Sixteen of 23 analysed PFASs were detected and quantified, and the homologue profiles were studied from all five sites. Total perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) (all structural isomers) was the predominated compound of all PFASs, accounting for 88-98% for all sites, with a median concentration range of 58 ng/g ww to 2473 ng/g ww. The second highest concentration was found for perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) (1.9-42 ng/g ww), followed by perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (1.1-14 ng/g ww) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) (0.68-6.0 ng/g ww). The results showed significantly that the three up-stream sites (Welverdiend, Schoemansdrift and Orkney East) had similar patterns and that eggs from Schoemansdrift had the highest levels of PFASs. This may indicate the same source of origin for these three sites and that Schoemansdrift are closest to the contamination source. The three sites (Welverdiend, Schoemansdrift and Orkney East) with similar pattern is closest to Gauteng, which can be where the emission source is located, because it is an industrial area. Perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and PFOS might originate from different sources and the source for PFCAs could be degradation of fluorotelomer-based precursors. Structural isomer profiles of PFOS showed similar results as the PFAS homologue patterns, which give further indication of the source of origin. The contribution of linear PFOS (L-PFOS) to the total amount of PFOS was between the range of 94 and 97%. Bloemhof had the highest concentration of branched isomers among all sites. The L-PFOS concentrations in Bloemhof were also significantly differ from Schoemansdrift. This indicate two different sources between Bloemhof and the three up-steam sites, or an effect of environmental fractionation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), linear and branched isomers, African Darter, Vaal River, bird eggs
Keyword [sv]
Per- och polyfluoralkylerade substanser (PFASs), perfluoroktansulfonat (PFOS), linjära och grenade isomerer, African Darter, Vaal River, fågelägg
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51772OAI: diva2:954868
Subject / course
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden
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