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Perfluorooctane Sulfonate in the Canadian Environment

Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines for PFOS

Environment Canada has developed draft Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines (FEQGs) to help assess the significance of PFOSconcentrations in the environment (Table 122). These draft FEQGsfor PFOS are based on studies that directly link laboratory exposure to adverse effects in animals. The FEQGs include a margin of safety to account for uncertainties associated with a lack of data (e.g., studies used a limited number of animal species). When environmental concentrations of PFOS are below the FEQG, immediate adverse effects on aquatic life or animals consuming aquatic life are not likely. Concentrations above the FEQGs indicate an increased likelihood that adverse effects in the environment may occur. However, an exceedance does not mean that adverse effects are automatically expected. Further investigation such as field sampling of animal communities would be required to confirm whether negative impacts are occurring.

Table 1: Draft Federal Environmental Quality Guidelines for PFOS.
AirSedimentWater (ng/L)Fish Tissue (ng/g wet weight)  Wildlife Diet (ng/g wet weight food)Bird Egg (ng/g wet weight)

ng: nanogram
L: litre
g: gram

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