Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

First reports of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in Australian native and introduced freshwater fish and crustaceans

Matthew D. Taylor
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Locked Bag 1, Nelson Bay, NSW 2315, Australia.

B School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: matt.taylor@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17242
Submitted: 15 August 2017  Accepted: 25 October 2017   Published online: 6 February 2018

Abstract

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent organic pollutants that have been extensively used in commercial and industrial applications, such as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) formulations. Widespread use of AFFFs has led to an increasing number of reports documenting PFAS contamination around civilian and military airports. However, research on the presence and distribution of PFASs in Australia is lacking. This study presents the first report of PFASs in Australian native and introduced freshwater species, sampled from a watercourse adjacent to the regional airport and colocated fire training ground near Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. Perfluorooctane sulfonate was the most abundant PFAS compound in biota samples from this area, and both introduced common carp Cyprinus carpio and native Murray cod Maccullochella peelii had average concentrations higher than the Australian trigger value of 5.2 μg kg–1. Common yabby Cherax destructor and golden perch Macquaria ambigua carried low concentrations, and common yabby also had low concentrations of perfluorohexane sulfonate. Differences in foraging habits provided some potential explanations of the differences observed among species. There is a clear and pressing need to better understand potential toxicological and reproductive effects of PFASs on Australian freshwater species.


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