Perfluorinated chemicals found in alligators, crocodiles | September 5, 2016 Issue - Vol. 94 Issue 35 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 94 Issue 35 | p. 20 | News of The Week
Issue Date: September 5, 2016 | Web Date: September 1, 2016

Perfluorinated chemicals found in alligators, crocodiles

Results can point researchers to water pollution hot spots
Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: persistent pollutants, perfluorinated chemicals, water pollution, persistent pollutants, alligators, crocodiles
Credit: Shutterstock
Group of American alligators in muddy water.
Credit: Shutterstock

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs)—industrial chemicals that have tainted drinking water supplies in locales across the world—are accumulating in large reptiles. In two studies, researchers at Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., and affiliated institutions found PFCs in the blood plasma of American alligators in the southeastern U.S. and African crocodiles in South Africa’s Kruger National Park (Chemosphere 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.03.072; Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1002/etc.3600). The reptiles, which can live for decades close to one body of water, have been used to identify mercury contamination. Future work with them could identify hotspots where drinking water warrants testing for PFCs, the authors say.

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