Acute and chronic effects of perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) on the mallard and northern bobwhite quail

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2008 Apr;54(3):535-45. doi: 10.1007/s00244-007-9039-8. Epub 2007 Oct 5.


Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) can be a final degradation product of perfluorobutane sulfonyl fluoride (PBSF)-based chemicals. Surfactants based on this chemistry are potential replacements for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)-related products and have many potential applications in industrial and commercial processes and applications. To evaluate the potential hazard that PFBS may pose to avian species, acute dietary studies with juvenile mallards and northern bobwhite quail, as well as a quail dietary chronic study of reproduction were conducted. In the acute studies, 10-day-old mallards and quail were exposed to nominal dietary concentrations of 1,000, 1,780, 3,160, 5,620 or 10,000 mg PFBS/kg feed, wet weight (ww) for 5 days and the birds were then fed an untreated diet and observed for up to 17 days. No treatment-related mortalities were observed in the study up to 10,000 mg PFBS/kg, ww feed. Body weight gains of quail exposed to 5620 or 10,000 mg PFBS/kg feed were statistically less than that of unexposed controls. Weight gain of mallards exposed to 10,000 mg PFBS/kg feed was statistically less than that of controls. There were no statistically significant effects on feed consumption of either species. In the acute studies, no observed adverse effect concentration (NOAEC) for mallards and quail were 5620 and 3160 mg PFBS/kg, ww feed, respectively. In a reproduction study, adult quail were exposed to nominal dietary concentrations of 100, 300, or 900 mg PFBS/kg, ww feed for up to 21 weeks. There were no treatment-related mortalities or effects on body weight, weight gain, feed consumption, histopathology measures, or reproductive parameters evaluated in the study when compared to the control group. Concentrations of PFBS in blood serum, liver, and eggs were dose-dependent but were less than the administered dose, indicating biodiminution. Based on the results from the quail reproduction study, the dietary NOAEC was 900 mg PFBS/kg, ww feed (equivalent to an ADI of 87.8 mg PFBS/kg bw/d).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Colinus / anatomy & histology
  • Colinus / physiology*
  • Ducks / anatomy & histology
  • Ducks / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood
  • Fluorocarbons / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Kidney / anatomy & histology
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Liver / anatomy & histology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Ovary / anatomy & histology
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / pathology
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute
  • Toxicity Tests, Chronic
  • Zygote / metabolism


  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorobutane