PERFLUORINATED ALKYL ACID (PFAA) CONCENTRATIONS IN AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (Alligator mississippiensis) HARVESTED FOR CONSUMPTION DURING SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC HUNTS
MetadataShow full item record
Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) are a group of man-made chemicals with carbon fluorine bonds. Exposure to elevated concentrations of PFAAs may have toxic effects on wildlife and humans. In this study, meat from harvested alligators in South Carolina was used to investigate relationships between 15 PFAAs and alligator body size (total length), sex, and harvest location. Surveys were used to evaluate meat consumption patterns of hunters and their families to determine potential dietary exposure. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) was the dominant PFAA found in samples (median 6.73 ng/g). No relationship was found between PFAA concentrations and total length or sex. Alligators harvested in the Middle Coastal hunt unit had significantly higher PFOS concentrations than other hunt units in the study (median 16.0 ng/g, p= 0.0001, n=17). All tissue concentrations fell below the current no restriction limit for PFOS consumption guidelines. Many survey respondents (45.5 %) planned on sharing meat with their children (under the age of 15). An exposure scenario using the average consumption frequency, portion size and median (PFOS) concentration from all hunt units found the daily dietary exposure to be 2.11 ng/kg body weight per day for an adult. Current consumption patterns and PFAA concentrations do not exceed suggested exposure guidelines; however further studies on site-specific exposure and consumption by vulnerable populations are warranted to protect human health.