- Uptake of perfluorinated alkyl acids by hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
- Environmental Science and Technology
- Volume | Issue number
- 46 | 21
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
An uptake study was carried out to assess the potential human exposure to perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) through the ingestion of vegetables. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) was grown in PFAA-spiked nutrient solutions at four different concentrations, ranging from 10 ng/L to 10 μg/L. Eleven perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and three perfluorinated sulfonic acids (PFSAs) were analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS. At the end of the experiment, the major part of the total mass of each of the PFAAs (except the short-chain, C4-C7, PFCAs) taken up by plants appeared to be retained in the nonedible part, viz. the roots. Root concentration factors (RCF), foliage/root concentration factors (FRCF), and transpiration stream concentration factors (TSCF) were calculated. For the long chained PFAAs, RCF values were highest, whereas FRCF were lowest. This indicates that uptake by roots is likely governed by sorption of PFAAs to lipid-rich root solids. Translocation from roots to shoots is restricted and highly depending on the hydrophobicity of the compounds. Although the TSCF show that longer-chain PFCAs (e.g., perfluorododecanoic acid) get better transferred from the nutrient solution to the foliage than shorter-chain PFCAs (e.g., perfluoroheptanoic acid), the major fraction of longer-chain PFCAs is found in roots due to additional adsorption from the spiked solution. Due to the strong electron-withdrawing effect of the fluorine atoms the role of the negative charge of the dissociated PFAAs is likely insignificant.
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