Spatial and temporal baseline of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid retained in sediment core samples from Puget Sound, Washington, USA
Per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of highly persistent synthetic chemicals utilized in many industrial and consumer products, and - significantly toward introduction to the marine environment - in fire-fighting foams. Recently, PFAS have been linked to adverse health effects, prompting the need to better understand transport, lability, and fate. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), a manufactured PFAS and biodegradation product, partitions to marine sediments and thus can be used as a primary indicator toward regulatory efforts. The current study offers a spatial and temporal analysis of Puget Sound from cores collected adjacent Tacoma and Seattle, WA, as well as cores from central Hood Canal and Carr Inlet. Temporal fluxes reflected releases into the environment corresponding with initial production and subsequent increases in use. Biologically active layers ranged from 434 pg/g (Carr Inlet) to 824 pg/g (Hood Canal) PFOS, producing benthic community risk quotients between 0.11 and 0.17.