Ecotoxicology and Ecological Risks of PFAS

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecotoxicology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 1504

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
1. ECOSPHERE, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
2. Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
Interests: bioaccumulation; birds; mammals; invertebrates; ecotoxicology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a large group of anthropogenic chemicals that are, or have been, used in various industrial and consumer applications. Decades of widespread global use, combined with the persistence and high mobility of many PFASs, has resulted in global contamination of the environment and wildlife. This has raised concerns about the ecological impacts of PFAS exposure. Despite multiple regulatory measures, the persistence of terminal PFAS products, their global presence, and ongoing usage result in wildlife being continuously exposed to these substances. The relative lack of toxicological data for most PFASs is an uncertain factor in ecological risk assessment (ERA).The goal of an ERA is to protect entire communities and ecosystems. Currently, ERAs have primarily focused on national monitoring assessments. There are very few globally established effect-based thresholds for the effects of PFASs on the environment, and most of the available thresholds are only for PFOS and PFOA in freshwater aquatic species. There are extensive toxicity data only for PFOS and PFOA, but almost nothing is known about the toxicity of all other PFASs and for many taxonomic groups. As data on the toxic potential of many PFASs are lacking, (sub-)lethal long-term effects, including for PFAS mixtures, cannot be ruled out.

For this Special Issue, I invite high-quality original research papers, short communications, and reviews focusing on the toxic effects of PFASs to non-human organisms and their related environmental risks. Research on a single PFAS, PFAS mixtures, and complex environmental samples are welcome. 

Dr. Thimo Groffen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • ecotoxicology
  • ecological risk assessment
  • PFAS
  • mixture toxicity
  • lethal effects
  • sublethal effects

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 3751 KiB  
Growth Hormones in Broad Bean (Vicia faba L.) and Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) Are Associated with Accumulated Concentrations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances
by Thimo Groffen, Niels Kuijper, Sevgi Oden, Tim Willems, Lieven Bervoets and Els Prinsen
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 922; - 11 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1202
In this study, we grew radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) and broad beans (Vicia faba L.) in a greenhouse on soils spiked with a mixture of 15 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and investigated the association between accumulated ∑PFAS concentrations, [...] Read more.
In this study, we grew radish (Raphanus raphanistrum subsp. sativus L.) and broad beans (Vicia faba L.) in a greenhouse on soils spiked with a mixture of 15 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and investigated the association between accumulated ∑PFAS concentrations, growth, and hormone levels. Short-chained PFASs dominated aboveground tissues, whereas long-chained PFASs were most abundant in the plant roots. Our results showed that the presence or absence of exodermal Casparian strips, as well as the hydrophobicity and anion exchange capacities of PFASs, could explain the translocation of PFASs within plants. Significant associations found between accumulated PFAS concentrations and levels of gibberellins (GA1 and GA15), methionine, and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) imply potential effects of PFASs on plant development and growth. This study provides the first evidence of associations between PFAS accumulation in plants and growth hormone levels, possibly leading to growth reduction of the apical dome and effects on the cell cycle in pericycle cells and methionine metabolism in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecotoxicology and Ecological Risks of PFAS)
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