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White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) Body Feathers Document Spatiotemporal Trends of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in the Northern Environment

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  • Jiachen Sun, Dept. of Biology, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • ,
  • Rossana Bossi
  • Jan Ove Bustnes, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
  • ,
  • Björn Helander, Swedish Museum of Natural History
  • ,
  • David Boertmann
  • Rune Dietz
  • Dorte Herzke, Norwegian Institute for Air Research
  • ,
  • Veerle L.B. Jaspers, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • ,
  • Aili Lage Labansen
  • Gilles Lepoint, University of Liege
  • ,
  • Ralf Schulz, University of Koblenz-Landau
  • ,
  • Christian Sonne
  • Kasper Thorup, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Anders P. Tøttrup, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jochen P. Zubrod, University of Koblenz-Landau
  • ,
  • Marcel Eens, Dept. of Biology, Universiteit Antwerpen
  • ,
  • Igor Eulaers

We reconstructed the first long-term (1968-2015) spatiotemporal trends of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using archived body feathers of white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from the West Greenland (n = 31), Norwegian (n = 66), and Central Swedish Baltic coasts (n = 50). We observed significant temporal trends of perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (∑PFCAs) in all three subpopulations. Concentrations of FOSA and PFOS had started decreasing significantly since the mid-1990s to 2000 in the Greenland and Norwegian subpopulations, consistent with the 3M phase-out, though in sharp contrast to overall increasing trends observed in the Swedish subpopulation. Moreover, ∑PFCA concentrations significantly increased in all three subpopulations throughout the study periods. These temporal trends suggest on-going input of PFOS in the Baltic and of ∑PFCAs in all three regions. Considerable spatial variation in PFAS concentrations and profiles was observed: PFOS concentrations were significantly higher in Sweden, whereas FOSA and ∑PFCA concentrations were similar among the subpopulations. PFOS dominated the PFAS profiles in the Swedish and Norwegian subpopulations, in contrast to the domination of FOSA and ∑PFCAs in the Greenland one. Our spatiotemporal observations underline the usefulness of archived bird of prey feathers in monitoring spatiotemporal PFAS trends and urge for continued monitoring efforts in each of the studied subpopulations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Pages (from-to)12744-12753
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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