Science Inventory

Literature review of PFAS bioaccumulation data


Burkhard, L. Literature review of PFAS bioaccumulation data. EPA-ECOS-ASTHO PFAS Science Call, Duluth, MN, October 26, 2020.


The goal of the presentation is to update scientists on the available data on bioconcentration (BCF) and bioaccumulation (BAF) factors for aquatic species. The impact, hopefully, is to steer research efforts to filling the gaps and eliminating limitations in existing bioaccumulation information for PFAS chemicals. The presentation summarizes the scientific literature for bioconcentration factors (BCFs) and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for aquatic organisms and provides an analysis of gaps and limitations in the currently available data. The Federal Information Exchange Virtual Seminar Series is a forum for communicating knowledge on PFAS chemicals and scientific exchange between federal scientists, state representatives and federally-funded academic communities.


Per‐ and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man‐made chemicals of concern across the globe, and some of the PFAS chemicals are known to be bioaccumulative in aquatic species. In developing ambient water quality criteria for PFASs, bioaccumulation data are used for incorporating exposure via the consumption of fish and shellfish by humans and aquatic dependent wildlife. To aid in criteria development, a literature search for bioconcentration factors (BCFs) and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for PFASs has been done. The assembled data were evaluated for quality, and for gaps and limitations in bioaccumulation data. In general, carbonyl and sulfonyl PFAS classes are relatively data rich while phosphate, fluorotelomer and ether PFAS classes are data limited for fish and nonexistent for most other taxonomic classes. Taxonomic classes with the most measurements were, in descending order, Teleostei (fish), Bivalvia, and Malacostraca (shrimp, mysids, crabs, crayfish). For fish, median whole-body log BAFs (L/kg-ww) for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were 3.45 (sd=0.91, n=67) and 2.15 (sd=0.8, n=42) using all measurements, respectively. A brief summary of available data and their gaps and limitations will be provided in the presentation.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 10/26/2020
Record Last Revised: 10/20/2020
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 349938