Detection of perfluorooctane surfactants in Great Lakes water

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Environmental Science and Technology

DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



Widespread use of perfluorooctane surfactants has led to ubiquitous presence of these chemicals in biological tissues. While perfluorooctane surfactants have been measured in blood and liver tissue samples of fish, birds, and mammals in the Great Lakes region, data for the aqueous concentrations of these compounds in the Great Lakes or other ambient waters is lacking. Sixteen Great Lakes water samples were analyzed for eight perfluorooctane surfactants. The monitored perfluorooctane surfactants were quantitatively determined using single quadrupole HPLC/ MS and qualitatively confirmed using ion trap MS/MS. Additionally, PFOS was quantitatively confirmed using triple quadrupole LC/MS/MS. Concentrations of PFOS and PFOA in the two lakes ranged from 21-70 and 27-50 ng/L, respectively. Analysis also showed the presence of PFOS precursors, N-EtFOSAA (range of 4.2-11 ng/L) and FOSA (range of 0.6-1.3 ng/L), in all samples above the LOQ. PFOSulfinate, another precursor, was identified at six of eight locations with a concentration range, when present, of 2.2-17 ng/L. Other PFOS precursors, N-EtFOSE, PFOSAA, and N-EtFOSA were not observed at any of the sampling locations. These are the first reported concentrations of perfluorooctane surfactants in Great Lakes water and the first report of PFOS precursors in any water body.

Published Article/Book Citation

Environmental Science and Technology, 38:15 (2004) pp.4064-4070.

This document is currently not available here.