Superfund Research Program

December 2022

Paper of the Month or Year

North Carlina State University SRP Center researchers found that American alligators living in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River had elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their blood and associated signs of immune dysfunction.

For their study, the researchers sampled blood from 75 adult and juvenile alligators — 49 from the Cape Fear River basin and 26 from neighboring Lake Waccamaw, which served as a basis for comparison. The team detected an average of 10 PFAS in Cape Fear River alligators and an average of five PFAS in Lake Waccamaw alligators.

The findings suggest that American alligators could help scientists understand the consequences of long-term exposure to PFAS mixtures, the authors noted.

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