Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are gaining worldwide attention because of their toxicity, bioaccumulative and resistance to biological degradation in the environment. PFAS can be categorised into endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and identified as possible carcinogenic agents for the aquatic ecosystem and humans. Despite this, only a few studies have been conducted on the aquatic toxicity of PFAS, particularly in invertebrate species such as zooplankton. This study evaluated the acute toxicity of two main PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), by using freshwater cladocerans (Moina micrura) as bioindicators. This study aimed to assess the adverse effects at different levels of organisations such as organ (heart size and heart rate), individual (individual size and mortality) and population (lethal concentration, LC50). PFOA was shown to be more hazardous than PFOS, with the LC50 values (confidence interval) of 474.7 (350.4-644.5) μg L-1 and 549.6 (407.2-743.9) μg L-1, respectively. As the concentrations of PFOS and PFOA increased, there were declines in individual size and heart rate as compared to the control group. The values of PNECs acquired by using the AF method (PNECAF) for PFOA and PFOS were 0.4747 and 0.5496 μg L-1, respectively. Meanwhile, the PNEC values obtained using the SSD method (PNECSSD) were 1077.0 μg L-1 (PFOA) and 172.5 μg L-1 (PFOS). PNECAF is more protective and conservative compared to PNECSSD. The findings of this study have significant implications for PFOS and PFOA risk assessment in aquatic environments. Thus, it will aid freshwater sustainability and safeguard the human dependency on water resources.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.