Carl Einar Amundsen: Charles Darwin, Earthworms and Fire Fighting Chemicals – the SFT report

Published:  10 November, 2009

The use of AFFFs containing perfluoroctansulphonate (PFOS) was banned in Norway in 2007, but the knowledge on how these compounds are spread in the environment during the last 20-30 years are very limited. To investigate if the terrestrial and aquatic environments at previous and active training facilities are affected by PFOS and other, Norwegian State Pollution Control Authorities SFT has taken the initiative of carrying out environmental screening at four selected fire training facilities in Norway.

The concentrations of PFCs found in most soils in the vicinity of the investigated training facilities exceed the proposed Norwegian guideline value for PFOS in soil (100 ng/g). Exposing earthworms to soils from the four fire training facilities in this project resulted in mean bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for 6:2 FTS, PFOS and PFOA of 2.4 (0.76-6.7), 2.6 (0.49-6.4) and 5.9 (0.31-14.0), respectively.

This investigation shows that continued fire training over years locally has resulted in quite severe contamination with PFOS, in particular, but also with other PFCs in the environment. High mobility in some soils (sandy soils), high bioaccumulation potential of some PFCs, make these contaminants an environmental risk that should be further assessed

About the speaker

Carl Einar Amundsen has been a research scientist at Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk) since 1993 after finishing his PhD in soil and environmental chemistry at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His main work items at Bioforsk have been environmental risk assessments related to industrial waste sites, waste characterisation, and ecotoxicology.

  • Operation Florian

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