Toxic effects of three perfluorinated or polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) on two strains of freshwater algae: Implications for ecological risk assessments

Zhengqiu Fan , Liangliang Zhang , Xiaowei Zheng , Xianglin Liu , Jue Li , Yanyao Li , Zeming Wang , Nan Zheng , Xiangrong Wang


Received July 25, 2022,Revised , Accepted October 26, 2022, Available online November 05, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 48-58

Perfluorinated or polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs) continue entering to the environmental as individuals or mixtures, but their toxicological information remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the toxic effects and ecological risks of Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and its substitutes on prokaryotes (Chlorella vulgaris) and eukaryotes (Microcystis aeruginosa). Based on the calculated EC50 values, the results showed that PFOS was significantly more toxic to both algae than its alternatives including Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) and 6:2 Fluoromodulated sulfonates (6:2 FTS), and the PFOS-PFBS mixture was more toxic to both algae than the other two PFC mixtures. The action mode of binary PFC mixtures on Chlorella vulgaris was mainly shown as antagonistic and on Microcystis aeruginosa as synergistic, by using Combination index (CI) model coupled with Monte Carlo simulation. The mean risk quotient (RQ) value of three individual PFCs and their mixtures were all below the threshold of 10−1, but the risk of those binary mixtures were higher than that of PFCs individually because of their synergistic effect. Our findings contribute to enhance the understanding of the toxicological information and ecological risks of emerging PFCs and provide a scientific basis for their pollution control.

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