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Spatial trends of polyfluorinated compounds in guillemot (Uria aalge) eggs from North-Western Europe
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Chemistry.
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2008 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 72, no 10, 1475-1480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polyfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFCs) are a group of chemicals of growing concern that have been detected in biological and abiotic samples worldwide. This study reports the concentrations of a suite of PFCs: perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctyl sulfonamide (PFOSA) and perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) in guillemot (Uria aalge) eggs, collected in North-Western Europe, from Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and two locations in Norway. The highest concentrations of PFOS were found in samples from Sweden (mean 400 ng g(-1) wet weight (w.w.)), which were almost five times higher than concentrations found in Norwegian samples (mean 85 ng g(-1) w.w. from both sample sites). The concentrations found in Icelandic and Faroe samples were lowest (mean 16 and 15 ng g(-1) w.w., respectively). Only Swedish samples differed signiflcantly from the other locations. In general, PFCAs show a different spatial trend than PFOS. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was not detected in any sample and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) was only detected in samples from Sweden. The most abundant PFCA was perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) with highest concentrations in samples from Sweden (mean 82 ng g(-1) w.w.), samples from the Faroe Islands had the second highest concentration (mean 57 ng g(-1) w.w.) and samples from Iceland and Norway had concentrations ranging between 18 and 30 ng g(-1) w.w. The original hypothesis was based on the idea that PFC concentrations are the highest close to more densely populated and industrialized areas and lower levels in remote areas. However, the geographic pattern is more complicated than predicted and varies among different PFCs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 72, no 10, 1475-1480 p.
Keyword [en]
PFOS, PFOA, PFOSA, perfluorinated compounds, birds
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25686DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.05.011ISI: 000259166200012OAI: diva2:200246
Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2009-01-15 Last updated: 2012-07-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Temporal and spatial trends of organohalogens in guillemot (Uria aalge) from North Western Europe
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporal and spatial trends of organohalogens in guillemot (Uria aalge) from North Western Europe
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Arctic and sub-Arctic region of the North Atlantic is a remote area, also in relations to environmental contaminants, such as POPs, BFRs and last but not least, PFCs. Both the BFRs and PFCs are considered emerging pollutants of significant environmental concern.

The main objective of this thesis is to increase the knowledge and understanding of organohalogen compound distribution in the Nordic environment, their occurrence in biota and change over time. The temporal change of environmental contaminants in the Baltic Sea was monitored over the years 1971 to 2001, with emphasis on BCPS. Further, the pollution profile of the Nordic region was investigated by using common guillemot eggs. Further, to investigate a single remote site, Iceland, in more depth, eggs from seven marine bird species were collected and analysed. Both the organohalogen compounds mentioned above and their metabolites were investigated. The study focused also on an inter-species difference in the bird’s capability of metabolising xenobiotics.

All environmental pollutants investigated in the Baltic Sea show decreasing levels over the time period investigated. BCPS showed a remarkably small change over time compared to other compounds. These results reinforce the previous findings, indicating the North Atlantic as remote where the concentrations of the organohalogens are lower compared to Europe in general. There are some exceptions however; the concentration of HCB is ubiquitously distributed across the study area. Further, the spatial trends of the PFCs are complicated and differ within the PFC group. When comparing bird species from Iceland, the concentration of organohalogens mainly depends on trophic level, while migration seems to contribute to a lesser extent. There are some similarities in the metabolism between the bird species investigated. However, the guillemot seems to distinguish itself from other marine birds, with a different composition of metabolites, indicating a different metabolic capacity.

In conclusion, even human populations living in remote areas need to minimise the release of pollutants to the environment. Long term, well organised, and extensive governmental monitoring programs are highly recommended to follow the quality the environment and to detect any immediate and/or new threats of chemical pollutants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för miljökemi, 2009. 72 p.
Arctic, environmental, monitoring, pollution, time trends, spatial trends
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8419 (URN)978-91-7155-736-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-02-06, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 12 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2009-01-15Bibliographically approved

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