Toxicological evaluation of potassium perfluorobutanesulfonate in a 90-day oral gavage study with Sprague-Dawley rats

Toxicology. 2009 Jan 8;255(1-2):45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2008.10.002. Epub 2008 Oct 17.


Perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS) is a surfactant and degradation product of substances synthesized using perfluorobutanesulfonyl fluoride. A 90-day rat oral gavage study has been conducted with potassium PFBS (K+PFBS). Rats were dosed with K+PFBS at doses of 60, 200, and 600mg/kg-day body weight. The following endpoints were evaluated: clinical observations, food consumption, body weight, gross and microscopic pathology, clinical chemistry, and hematology. In addition, functional observation battery and motor activity assessments were made. Histological examination included tissues in control and 600 mg/kg-day groups. Additional histological examinations were performed on nasal cavities and turbinates, stomachs, and kidneys in the 60 and 200 mg/kg-day groups. No treatment-related mortality, body weight, or neurological effects were noted. Chromorhinorrhea (perioral) and urine-stained abdominal fur were observed in males at 600mg/kg-day. Red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit values were reduced in males receiving 200 and 600mg/kg-day; however, there were no adverse histopathological findings in bone marrow. Total protein and albumin were lower in females at 600mg/kg-day. There were no significant changes in clinical chemistry in either sex. All rats appeared normal at sacrifice. Microscopic changes were observed only at the highest dose in the stomach. These changes consisted of hyperplasia with some necrosis of the mucosa with some squamous metaplasia. These effects likely were due to a cumulative direct irritation effect resulting from oral dosing with K+PFBS. Histopathological changes were also observed in the kidneys. The changes observed were minimal-to-mild hyperplasia of the epithelial cells of the medullary and papillary tubules and the ducts in the inner medullary region. There were no corresponding changes in kidney weights. Clinical chemistry parameters related to kidney function were unchanged. These kidney findings are likely due to a response to high concentration of K+PFBS in tubules and ducts and represent a minimal-to-mild effect. Microscopic changes of an equivocal and uncertain nature were observed in the nasal mucosa and were likely attributable to the route of dosing (oral gavage). The NOAEL for the female rat in this study was 600 mg/kg-day (highest dose of study). The NOAEL for the male rat was 60 mg/kg-day based on hematological effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sulfonic Acids / toxicity*
  • Surface-Active Agents / administration & dosage
  • Surface-Active Agents / toxicity*


  • Fluorocarbons
  • Sulfonic Acids
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • perfluorobutanesulfonic acid