Occurrence of perfluorooctane sulfonate and other perfluorinated alkylated substances in harbor porpoises from the Black Sea

Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jan 1;41(1):315-20. doi: 10.1021/es060827e.


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and other perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) were determined in liver, kidney, muscle, brain, and blubber samples of 31 harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena relicta) of different age and sex stranded along the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea. In all individuals and in all tissues, PFOS was the predominant PFAS, accounting for on average 90% of the measured PFAS load. PFOS concentrations were the highest in liver (327+/-351 ng/g wet wt) and kidney (147 +/-262 ng/g wet wt) tissue, and lower in blubber (18+/-8 ng/g wet wt), muscle (41+/-50 ng/g wet wt), and brain (24 +/-23 ng/g wetwt). No significant differences could be determined between males and females, nor between juvenile and adult animals (p > 0.05). Perfluorononanoic acid, perfluorodecanoic acid, perfluoroundecanoic acid, and perfluorododecanoic acid could be detected in liver tissue of approximately 25% of the individuals. Perfluorobutane sulfonate, perfluorobutanoic acid, and perfluorooctanoic acid were not detected in any of the porpoise livers. Although we investigated a potential intraspecies segregation according to the source of prey, using stable isotopes, no statistically significant correlation between PFOS concentrations and stable isotopes could be determined. It is, however, noteworthy that the contamination by PFOS in the Black Sea harbor porpoises is comparable to levels found in porpoises from the German Baltic Sea and from coastal areas near Denmark and, therefore, might pose a threat to this population.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / analysis*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Carbon Isotopes / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Environmental Monitoring / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Nitrogen Isotopes / analysis
  • Phocoena / metabolism*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Nitrogen Isotopes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid