Perfluorinated acid isomer profiling in water and quantitative assessment of manufacturing source.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Environmental Science & Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 11/2010; 44(23):9049-54. DOI: 10.1021/es102582x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A method for isomer profiling of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in water was developed and applied to quantitatively assess the contributions from electrochemical (ECF) and telomer manufacturing processes around source regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. With the exception of 3 sites in Japan, over 80% of total perfluorooctanoate (PFOA, C(7)F(15)COO(-)) was from ECF, with the balance attributable to strictly linear (presumably telomer) manufacturing source(s). Comparing PFOA isomer profiles in samples from China, with PFOA obtained from a local Chinese manufacturer, indicated <3% difference in overall branched isomer content; thus, exclusive contribution from local ECF production cannot be ruled out. In Tokyo Bay, ECF, linear-telomer, and isopropyl-telomer sources contributed to 33%, 53%, and 14% of total PFOA, respectively. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS, C(8)F(17)SO(3)(-)) isomer profiles were enriched in branched content (i.e., >50% branched) in the Mississippi River but in all other locations were similar or only slightly enriched in branched content relative to historical ECF PFOS. Isomer profiles of other PFCs are also reported. Overall, these data suggest that, with the exception of Tokyo Bay, ECF manufacturing has contributed to the bulk of contamination around these source regions, but other sources are significant, and remote sites should be monitored.

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