Issue Date: October 20, 2008
PFCs Studied In Chinese Bird Eggs
In the first study on perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in waterbird eggs in South China, researchers from Hong Kong and Japan report that perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is the dominant pollutant of the 11 PFCs surveyed (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es8006386). Widely used in consumer products, PFCs are highly stable compounds that accumulate in the environment and are known to be toxic to birds. Paul K. S. Lam of the City University of Hong Kong, Nobuyoshi Yamashita of Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, and coworkers sampled night heron and egret eggs near Hong Kong and north along the southeast coast of China. They compared their results with PFC data on waterbird eggs from studies of other global regions. The researchers found that the variable PFC concentrations in the eggs are consistent with the birds' different feeding habits and that PFOS concentrations were below a "predicted no-effect concentration" value previously determined by other researchers for bobwhite quail. The results suggest that PFCs might not be an immediate threat to South China's waterbirds, the researchers note, but the team plans to expand the study to better understand the potential environmental impact.
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