Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in tern eggs from St. Brandon's Atoll, Indian Ocean

31 March 2020

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are anthropogenic fluorinated compounds of concern for human and environmental health. There is no data on PFAS concentrations in marine bird eggs from the Western Indian Ocean. We analysed eight PFAS in eggs of fairy terns (Gygis alba), sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus), and common noddies (Anous stolidus) from St. Brandon's Atoll. Fairy tern eggs contained the highest concentrations, followed by sooty terns and common noddies. Perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUdA) had the highest mean concentration (2.3 ng/g wm), followed by perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) (2.0 ng/g wm), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) (0.93 ng/g wm) in fairy tern eggs. Concentrations of all PFAS were lower than values found in literature. PFOS and PFOA concentrations were three orders of magnitude lower than toxicity reference values and levels of lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level concentrations. Eggs from St. Brandon's would be useful to monitor background changes on a regional and perhaps global scale