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Environmental fate & pathways

Endpoint summary

Administrative data

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Additional information

Not believed to bioaccumulate.

The only specific testing for perfluorocarbons that we are aware of was performed by "Chemical Biotesting Centre" in Japan in 1984 on perfluoroperhydrophenanthrene (bp 215°C) (testing performed on carp, and using a surfactant, HCO-20 or F-142D, to aid dissolution, over 8 weeks).

 Concentration BCF (weighted averages)
 1 mg/l 0.2 - 4.7
 0.1 mg/l 7.3 - 30

However, use of perfluorocarbons (particularly octafluoropropane, perfluoro-2 -methylhexane, perfluorooctane and perfluorodecalin) in medical applications strongly supports the claim that these materials as a class are not bioaccumulated.

Testing of blood extenders (red cell substitutes) in the 1970s, in which the perfluorocarbon is injected into the blood stream in the form of an emulsion, indicates that they are removed via transpiration and respiration through the skin and lungs. They remain in the spleen and liver for longer, but are eliminated after some weeks. Higher boiling perfluorocarbons seem to be retained longer, so perfluorodecalin (bp 142°C) is eliminated after 4 weeks, while perfluoromethyldecalin (bp 160°C) is retained significantly longer (K Yokoyama et al., Fed. Proc., 34(6), 1975, 1478-83).

"The generality that compounds containing only carbon and fluorine are superior because they do not remain indefinitely in the liver and spleen has also emerged." LC Clark et al., Fed. Proc., 34(6), 1975, 1468-77.