• perfluorooctanoic acid;
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate;
  • Physa acuta;
  • Daphnia magna;
  • root elongation


Acute toxicities of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were tested on four freshwater species and three plant species. PFOS was more toxic than PFOA for all species tested in this study. Similar time-response patterns of PFOS and PFOA toxicity were observed for each tested species. Values of the 48-h LC50 of PFOS for all test species ranged from 27 to 233 mg/L and values of the 96-h LC50 for three of the species ranged from 10 to 178 mg/L. Values of the 48-h LC50 of PFOA for all test species ranged from 181 to 732 mg/L and values of the 96-h LC50 for three of the species ranged from 337 to 672 mg/L. The most sensitive freshwater species to PFOS was green neon shrimp (Neocaridina denticulate) with a 96-h LC50 of 10 mg/L. Of the aquatic organisms tested, the aquatic snail (Physa acuta) always has the highest resistance to PFOS or PFOA toxicity over each exposure period. Both PFOS and PFOA had no obvious adverse effect on seed germination for all three plant species. Five-day EC50 of root elongation was more sensitive to LC50 of seed germination in this study. Based on EC10, EC50, and NOECs, the 5-day root elongation sensitivity of test plants to both PFOS and PFOA was in the order of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) > pakchoi (Brassica rapa chinensis) > cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Based on the results of this study and other published literature, it is suggested that current PFOS and PFOA levels in freshwater may have no acute harmful ecological impact on the aquatic environment. However, more research on the long-term ecological effects of PFOS and PFOA on aquatic fauna are needed to provide important information to adequately assess ecological risk of PFOS and PFOA. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2009.