Science Inventory

Evaluation of published bioaccumulation data for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances across aquatic species.


Burkhard, L. Evaluation of published bioaccumulation data for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances across aquatic species. International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments, Nashville, TN, January 24 - 27, 2022.


The report assembles from the scientific literature bioconcentration factors (BCFs) and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for aquatic organisms. The reports summarizes the available data and provides an analysis of gaps and limitations in the currently available data. The product is intended for two audiences. First, OW is developing aquatic life criteria for PFOS and PFOA chemicals and needs bioaccumulation data for their development. The report summarizes the available data. Second, by assembling the data, EPA’s researchers and other researchers can plan and implement research efforts to fill the gaps and limitations in the current data. One of the goals of this literature review is to provide PFAS bioaccumulation data for BCFs and BAFs assembled in a form for others to work with without having to grind through the scientific literature. We hope the assembled data will provide a springboard for others to advance our understanding of PFAS universe of chemicals.


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 environments. In assessing risks of PFAS, biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) and bioaccumulation factors are needed in order to account for bioaccumulation processes in aquatic organisms. The objective of this presentation is to summarize published data for BASFs so that these data can be used in risk assessments at sites with contaminated sediments. Searching for literature reporting on PFAS chemicals was implemented by developing a series of chemical-based search terms. These terms included chemical names and Chemical Abstracts Service registry numbers (CASRN or CAS), synonyms, tradenames, and other relevant forms, i.e., metabolites, degradants, parent compounds and related chemicals). Seven databases were searched and resulted in 37,000 citations. After removal of duplicates and non-relevant papers, e.g., analytical methods and citations for non-aquatic species, the final number of potentially relevant papers was reduced to 8,200. Using Swift-Review software, relevant papers were identified using appropriate search terms from the 8,200 citations. The identified papers were obtained and reviewed, and data from papers with appropriate information were extracted into a database for analysis and review. BSAF data for 11 taxonomic classes were found. Taxonomic classes with the most measurements were, in descending order, Teleostei (fish), Bivalvia, and Magnoliopsida (plants). Most measurements were for the carbonyl and sulfonyl PFAS classes. For Teleostei (fish), PFOS and PFOA had median BSAFs of 2.61 and 0.499 for whole body tissues, respectively. For Bivalvia, PFOS and PFOS had median BSAFs of 0.858 and 0.171, respectively. Further, summaries and analyses of data gaps and limitations in BSAFs will be presented.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 01/24/2022
Record Last Revised: 09/10/2021
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 352763