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John Newsted, PhD contributes to study on PFAS in fish fillets and water

John L. Newsted, PhD has co-authored a manuscript on “Spatial and Temporal Trends of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Fish Fillets and Water Collected from Pool 2 of the Upper Mississippi River” recently published in the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Journal.

Abstract: In response to ongoing concerns regarding a fish consumption advisory for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were analyzed in surface water and fish fillet samples taken from Pool 2 of the Upper Mississippi River, a 33-mile stretch inclusive of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota metropolitan area. Bluegill, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, and white bass were sampled throughout the entirety of the study area, while surface water samples from areas that coincided with fish collection activities were also collected.

PFOS was observed with the greatest frequency in fish fillets and ranged in concentration from 3.0 to 760 nanogram/gram (ng/g) wet weight. When compared with fish data collected in 2009, a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in PFOS concentrations was noted. Data from studies conducted in 2012 and 2013 confirmed this finding. Overall, between 2009 and 2013, PFOS concentrations decreased by 65, 76, and 50 percent for bluegill, freshwater drum, and white bass, respectively (44 percent decrease for smallmouth bass from 2009 to 2012). Data from these studies have resulted in a reduction of fish consumption advisory levels for bluegill and freshwater drum to one meal per week. The declines in fish PFOS concentrations are consistent with ongoing efforts to effectively control sources of PFASs to the Mississippi River.

Download the manuscript

About John Newsted, PhD: John is an expert in ecotoxicology and has experience evaluating the fate and effect of persistent, chlorinated chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, organochlorine pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and metals, such as mercury and lead. He has conducted research in understanding the mechanisms of toxicity for these chemical classes, as well as developed biomarkers of effect and exposure in aquatic and terrestrial organisms. John has also focused on emerging contaminants with an emphasis on fluorochemicals, specifically, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). His expertise spans design, management, and interpretation of toxicological studies with laboratory species; field investigations; and ecological risk assessments in aquatic and terrestrial systems.

John Newsted, PhD