Investigation of Levels of Perfluorinated Compounds in New Jersey Fish, Surface Water, and Sediment: Research Project Summary



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Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science and Research


The Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health (DSREH) performed an initial targeted assessment of 13 PFAS, all of which are perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), at 11 waterways across the state. Fourteen surface water and sediment samples and 94 fish tissue samples were collected at sites along these waterways. All surface water samples contained detectable levels of at least four PFAS. The lowest total PFAS in surface water was in the Cohansey River, with Horicon Lake and Echo Lake having the second and third lowest total PFAS, respectively. The highest total level of PFAS was found in Little Pine Lake, near the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, with Mirror Lake and Pine Lake ranking the second and third highest, respectively. Consistent with the known characteristics of preferential partitioning of longer chain PFCs to sediment and shorter chain PFCs to the water column, the PFAS detected in surface water were those with a carbon chain length of nine carbons or less. Ten of the 14 sites where sediment samples were collected had detectable levels of at least one, and up to eight, PFAS. Pine Lake had the highest total PFAS concentration (30.93 ng/g) in the sediment, with the majority being perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the eight-carbon chain sulfonate. Echo Lake (West Milford in Passaic County), often used as a New Jersey “background” site, had no detectable levels of PFAS in the sediment, but had fish tissue concentrations that required a low-level consumption advisory. In all but one species at one site (channel catfish in the Cohansey River), the average levels of PFOS in fish tissue generated some level of fish consumption advisory, based on the draft preliminary fish consumption triggers included in this report. Additionally, PFUnA, which has a higher bioaccumulative potential than PFOS, was detected in all but one species at one site (common carp at Forge Pond), with a range of 0.75 ng/g in white catfish at the Raritan River to 27.20 ng/g in largemouth bass at Woodbury Creek).



New Jersey, Perfluorinated chemicals