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Scientific journal publication

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in surface sediments of the North-east Atlantic Ocean: A non-natural PFAS background

Boitsov, Stepan; Bruvold, Are Sæle; Hanssen, Linda; Jensen, Henning; Ali, Aasim Musa Mohamed

Publication details

Journal: Environmental Advances, vol. 16, 100545, 2024

Doi: doi.org/10.1016/j.envadv.2024.100545

The extreme persistence and environmental mobility of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) make their presence ubiquitous in the marine environment. Target analysis of 20 most common PFAS revealed the presence of nine perfluoroalkyl acids at low levels in surface sediments from five Norwegian marine areas covering the vast region from the eastern North Sea in the south to the Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard in the north. After correcting for sediment characteristics, no substantial difference in the sum of the nine PFAS (Σ9PFAS) between the five areas was found. Among separate compounds, PFOS, PFOA and PFNA dominate sample composition. Only two compounds, PFOS and PFUnDA, showed a statistically significant difference for one of the areas, the levels of these compounds being somewhat higher in the southernmost area than in the other areas. This may be due to local inputs in the fjords in this area. Open-sea and coastal sediments of the North-east Atlantic outside of locations with significant local sources seem to share a common, anthropogenic “PFAS background”, which may be part of a larger, global pattern.