Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have recently received increased research attention, particularly concerning aquatic organisms and in regions of exposure to aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs). Air Force bases historically applied AFFFs in the interest of fire training exercises and have since expressed concern for PFAS contamination in biota from water bodies surrounding former fire training areas. Six PFAS were monitored, including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), in aquatic species from 8 bayou locations at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana (USA) over the course of 1 yr. The focus was to evaluate temporal and spatial variability in PFAS concentrations from historic use of AFFF. The PFOS concentrations in fish peaked in early summer, and also increased significantly downstream of former fire training areas. Benthic organisms had lower PFOS concentrations than pelagic species, contrary to previous literature observations. Bioconcentration factors varied with time but were reduced compared with previously reported literature values. The highest concentration of PFOS in whole fish was 9349 ng/g dry weight, with 15% of samples exceeding what is believed to be the maximum whole fish concentration reported to date of 1500 ng/g wet weight. Further studies are ongoing, to measure PFAS in larger fish and tissue-specific partitioning data to compare with the current whole fish values. The high concentrations presently observed could have effects on higher trophic level organisms in this system or pose a potential risk to humans consuming contaminated fish. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2022–2029.
- Aqueous film forming foam
- Perfluorooctane sulfonate