Perfluoroalkyl acids and their precursors in Swedish food: The relativeimportance of direct and indirect dietary exposure
We analyzed food market basket samples obtained in Sweden from 1999, 2005, and 2010 for perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and a range of precursor compounds. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) precursors were detected in all food year pools with the highest concentrations in 1999. Six polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs, 4:2/6:2, 6:2/6:2, 6:2/8:2, 8:2/8:2, 6:2/10:2, and 10:2/10:2) were detected in the year pools with the highest PdiPAP concentrations in 1999 and 2005. All precursors were predominantly found in meat, fish, and/or eggs based on analysis of individual food groups from 1999. Based on year pools, PFOS precursors contributed between 4 and 1% as an indirect source to total
dietary PFOS intakes between 1999 and 2010. Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) exposure originated entirely from diPAPs, whereas for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), diPAPs contributed between 1 and 19% to total exposure. The lowest precursor contributions were generally seen in food samples from 2010.
Temporal changes (1997-2012) of perfluoroalkyl acids and selected precursors (including isomers) in Swedish human serum
Concentrations (including isomer patterns) and temporal changes (1997e2012) of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and selected perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acid (PFCA) precursors were determined in serum samples from Swedish women. Perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) and perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetic acid (FOSAA), as well as its N-methyl and N-ethyl derivatives (MeFOSAA and EtFOSAA) were consistently detected. Highest PFOS precursor concentrations were found for EtFOSAA (before year 2000) or MeFOSAA and FOSAA (after 2000). Disappearance half-lives for all PFOS precursors were shorter compared to PFOS. 4:2/6:2 and 6:2/6:2 polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs) were detected in <60% of the samples, whereas 6:2/8:2 and 8:2/8:2 diPAPs were detected in >60% of the samples, but showed no significant change in concentrations over time. Linear and sumbranched isomers were quantified separately for three PFAAs and three precursors. Significant changes between 1997 and 2012 in the % linear isomer were observed for PFOA and FOSA (increase) and PFOS (decrease).
Benthic competition and population dynamics of Monoporeia affinis and Marenzelleria sp. in the northern Baltic Sea
During the last two decades considerable changes of the benthic fauna have occurred in the northern Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia. The native amphipod, Monoporeia affinis, has shown a large scale abundance decrease, while polychaetes, Marenzelleria spp. have invaded the system. Marenzelleria co-exist with the native fauna in the southern Baltic Sea, but in the north the pelagic production might be too low to allow co-existence. Thus, M. affinis might have been out-competed by Marenzelleria in the Gulf of Bothnia. This hypothesis were tested in a competition experiment with a high and a low fresh phytoplankton food supply. When exposed to high food supply both species showed stable or increased biomass over the four week test period. In low food supply, however, M. affinis was found to have a competitive advantage. The experimental data were also related to Baltic Sea monitoring data on primary production, sedimentation, and invertebrate abundances. Data from the northern Baltic Sea show that the dominance in the benthic community by M. affinis was replaced by Marenzelleria around 2001. The amphipod decrease might be explained by a marked decrease in primary production during this period. Combining monitoring and experimental data suggests that the invasion of Marenzelleria did not cause the decrease of M. affinis in the northern Baltic Sea; it rather took advantage of the density gap that had occurred. A shift may thus have been established in the Bothnian Sea benthic community.
Towards the next generation of air quality monitoring: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are global pollutants that can migrate over long distances and bioaccumulate through food webs, posing health risks to wildlife and humans. Multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Stockholm Convention on POPs, were enacted to identify POPs and establish the conditions to control their release, production and use. A Global Monitoring Plan was initiated under the Stockholm Convention calling for POP monitoring in air as a core medium; however long temporal trends (>10 years) of atmospheric POPs are only available at a few selected sites. Spatial coverage of air monitoring for POPs has recently significantly improved with the introduction and advancement of passive air samplers. Here, we review the status of air monitoring and modeling activities and note major uncertainties in data comparability, deficiencies of air monitoring and modeling in urban and alpine areas, and lack of emission inventories for most POPs. A vision for an internationally-integrated strategic monitoring plan is proposed which could provide consistent and comparable monitoring data for POPs supported and supplemented by global and regional transport models. Key recommendations include developing expertise in all aspects of air monitoring to ensure data comparability and consistency; partnering with existing air quality and meteorological networks to leverage synergies; facilitating data sharing with international data archives; and expanding spatial coverage with passive air samplers. Enhancing research on the stability of particle-bound chemicals is needed to assess exposure and deposition in urban areas, and to elucidate long-range transport. Conducting targeted measurement campaigns in specific source areas would enhance regional models which can be extrapolated to similar regions to estimate emissions. Ultimately, reverse-modeling combined with air measurements can be used to derive “emission” as an indicator to assess environmental performance with respect to POPs on the country, region, or global level.
Response of Gammarus pulex and Baetis rhodani to springtime acidepisodes in humic brooks
While chronic acidification of water bodies has been steadily decreasing, episodic acidification continues to affect stream biology by temporarily decreasing pH and mobilizing aluminum. These events are becoming more common as climate change renders more frequent and intense storms and flooding. Throughout Scandinavia the effects of acidification have been mitigated by liming since the 1980ies, but remediation efforts can now be reduced. While transient acidity may reduce fish populations, also other species in streams are affected. In this in-stream study, two macro-invertebrates (Gammarus pulex and Baetis rhodani), both known as salmonid prey organisms, were exposed to snowmelt in six humic brooks with a natural gradient of pH and inorganic monomeric Al (Ali). We hypothesize that acid toxicity thresholds can be defined using lethal (mortality) and sublethal (changes in body elemental content) metrics. Periodic observations were made of mortality and whole body concentrations of base cations (BC: Ca, Mg, Na and K) and metals (Al, Fe, Zn and Mn). Mortality increased dramatically at pH<6.0 and Ali >15 µg/L for G. pulex and at pH<5.7 and Ali >20 µg/L for B. rhodani. No accumulation of Al was found. The invertebrate body Na concentration decreased when pH dropped, suggesting that osmoregulation in both species was affected. In contrast to general BC pattern, Ca concentration in G. pulex and Mg concentration in B. rhodani increased when pH decreased. Although Ali strongly correlates to pH, the Al composition of soil and bedrock also influences Al availability, potentially contributing to toxic Ali episodes. The estimated values calculated in this study can be used to improve water quality criteria and as thresholds to adjust doses of lime compared to old recommendations in ongoing liming programs. Such adjustments may be critical since both Ali and pH levels have to be balanced to mitigate damage to recovering stream ecosystems.
Modelling of pH and inorganic aluminium after termination of liming in 3000 Swedish lakes
Significant resources are spent on counteracting the effects of acidification, mainly by liming. Due to lower S and N deposition in Europe and North America, authorities are changing directives and strategies for remediation and reducing liming. However, as the acid–base buffer capacity differs in different water bodies, the desirable reduction of the lime dose is variable. In this study, a geochemical model is used to predict pH and inorganic monomeric Al (Ali) when liming is reduced and finally terminated in the 3000 Swedish lakes currently treated with lime. To estimate Ca and Mg concentrations not affected by liming for use in the model, the Ca/Mg ratio in nearby unlimed reference lakes was used. For the modelling of pH and inorganic Al the Visual MINTEQ program including the Stockholm Humic Model recently calibrated for Swedish fresh water was used. The predictions were validated with modelling results from six monitored lakes, in which liming had been terminated. The use of geochemical modelling appeared to be a promising tool for the calculation of accurate lime requirements in acid waters. For simulations in which liming was completely terminated, the pH value decreased by, on average, 1 pH unit to pH 5.7, whereas Ali increased by 17 μg L−1 to 32 μg L−1. If liming was reduced by half, the pH would drop only 0.3 pH units and Ali would increase by 2 μg L−1. Lakes in the south-western part of Sweden were predicted to reach a lower pH and higher Ali, which would be expected due to their greater historical S deposition. The results indicate that liming can be terminated in certain areas and in other areas be reduced without increases in the lake acidity.