PFAS Toxicity to Amphibians

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Marisol Sepúlveda

Spotted Salamander


Elizabeth Allmon

Elizabeth Allmon, PhD
Purdue FNR

Y. Choi

Youn Jeong Choi, Analytical Chemist
Purdue Agronomy

J. Conder

Jason Conder, GeoSyntec
New York

Z. Pandelides

Zachary Pandelides, GeoSyntec

Dr. Marisol Sepulvada holding a fish.

Marisol Sepúlveda, Professor and Associate Head of Research
Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources


Matt Hamilton

Matt Hamilton, Research Scientist & Lab Manager
Purdue FNR

Tyler Hoskins

Tyler Hoskins, Research Assistant Faculty
Purdue FNR

Dr. Jason Hoverman

Jason Hoverman, Professor
Purdue FNR

Linda Lee

Linda Lee, Professor
Purdue Environmental and Ecological Engineering & Agronomy

Research Objectives

The main goal of this research, is to develop toxicity reference values (TRVs) and bioconcentration factors (BCFs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (6:2 FTS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) in three main amphibian groups (toads, frogs and salamanders). We completed close to 20 experiments exposing different amphibian species to four PFAS using different exposure routes and length of exposure. Major findings include: PFOS bioaccumulated and the precursor 6:2 FTS metabolized; LC50s are in the thousands of ppb, several orders of magnitude above environmental levels; LOECs for effects on growth, development, and condition factor ranged between 10 – 1000 ppb; and effects varied depending on the species.

Developing Toxicity Reference Values (TRVs) and Bioconcentration Factors (BCFs):

  • PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, 6:2 FTS
  • Effects on development, growth and condition factor
  • First comprehensive Ecological Risk Assessment for PFAS in amphibians

Animal models:

  • Native amphibians: Toads, frogs and salamanders
  • Model species: Xenopus laevis

Research Shows Toxicity of Forever Chemicals Varies Among Amphibian Species, Purdue College of Agriculture News


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