Liu Y, Qian M, Ma X, Zhu L, Martin JW
Environ. Sci. Technol. 52 (10) 5830-5840 [2018-05-15; online 2018-04-27]
Nontarget high-resolution mass spectrometry (Nt-HRMS) has been proven useful for the identification of unknown poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in commercial products and water, but applications to biological samples are limited. China is the major PFAS-manufacturing nation; thus, here, we adapted our Nt-HRMS methods to fish collected from the Yangtze River and Tangxun Lake to discover potentially bioaccumulative PFASs in aquatic organisms destined for human consumption. In addition to traditional PFASs, over 330 other fluorinated analytes belonging to 10 classes of PFASs were detected among the pooled fish livers, including 6 sulfonate classes, 2 amine classes, 1 carboxylate class, and 1 N-heterocycle class. One class was detected in samples from both locations, 8 classes were detected exclusively in Tangxun Lake fish, and 1 class was detected exclusively in Yangtze River fish, 10 km downstream of a fluorochemical manufacturing site where we first reported these substances in wastewater 3 years ago. Overall, 4 of the PFAS classes (>165 analytes) are reported for the first time here. Wider monitoring and toxicological testing should be a priority for understanding the health risks posed to people and wildlife exposed to these substances.