Congener-specific numbering systems for the environmentally relevant C 4 through C8 perfluorinated homologue groups of alkyl sulfonates, carboxylates, telomer alcohols, olefins, and acids, and their derivatives

Department of Chemistry, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A (Impact Factor: 1.16). 11/2008; 43(12):1391-401. DOI: 10.1080/10934520802232030
Source: PubMed


We introduce a congener-specific numbering system for the C4 through C8 perfluorinated homologue groups of alkyl sulfonates, carboxylates, telomer alcohols, olefins, and acids, and their derivatives. Increasing length of the carbon chain beyond C3 leads to a corresponding rapid increase in the number of potential isomers (C4 = 4, C5 = 8, C6 = 17, C7 = 39, and C8 = 89 congeners). There is a need for clear and unambiguous chemical shorthand to ensure accuracy and consistency in the future perfluorinated alkyl substance (PFA) literature, and to correct previous misconceptions that may have restricted research efforts into developing full-congener PFA analysis. If adopted by the research community, introduction of a numbering system at this relatively early stage of investigations into the congener-specific analysis, environmental behavior, and toxicology of PFAs would not require an arduous and difficult reassignment of historical structures and naming conventions presented in the prior art. Many PFA congeners are chiral, necessitating a consideration of their enantiospecific environmental behavior and toxicology.

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