Bodø Air Station
Case study site
Due to planned closure of the military airbase and movement of the civil airport in Bodø, investigations on PFAS concentrations and distribution patterns were carried out between 2013 and 2018. The main PFAS source at Bodø airport is the use of PFAS containing fire fighting foam (aqueous film-forming foam, AFFF).
In 2017, PFAS concentrations in sea water, sediments, snails, crabs and fish from the fjord surrounding the military air base were measured at selected locations, based on knowledge of historic use of AFFF and previously measured PFAS concentrations in soil and storm water. The results of these investigations are published here:
The strong winds and water currents at the site have resulted in a dilution of PFAS concentrations in the sea, and concentrations in sea water and sediments were low (mostly below the analytical limit of detection). However, PFAS concentrations in snails, crabs and fish were higher around the air base compared to a reference station about 5 kilometers away and higher compared to levels previously reported for the northern parts of Norway. PFOS was the dominate PFAS compound in biota despite being phased-out in 2007. This reflects the extensive historic use of this compound and its environmental persistence. During the phase-out in 2007, PFOS was replaced by 6:2 FTS (a shorter chained PFAS, with similar physicochemical properties) because this compound was shown to be less bioaccumulative in fish and mammals. Nevertheless, the results of our study indicate that 6:2 FTS accumulates in snails and crabs with unknown consequences. PFAS based fire fighting foams were phased out completely from fire fighting training areas at Norwegian airports in 2015, however they are still being used in other parts of the world.
Accumulation of the replacement compound, 6:2 FTS, in snails and crabs
Left: Some of the investigated species. Right: Håkon Austad Langberg.