Sources, fate and transport of perfluorocarboxylates.

Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 02/2006; 40(1):32-44. DOI: 10.1021/es0512475
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review describes the sources, fate, and transport of perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) in the environment, with a specific focus on perfluorooctanoate (PFO). The global historical industry-wide emissions of total PFCAs from direct (manufacture, use, consumer products) and indirect (PFCA impurities and/or precursors) sources were estimated to be 3200-7300 tonnes. It was estimated that the majority (approximately 80%) of PFCAs have been released to the environment from fluoropolymer manufacture and use. Although indirect sources were estimated to be much less importantthan direct sources, there were larger uncertainties associated with the calculations for indirect sources. The physical-chemical properties of PFO (negligible vapor pressure, high solubility in water, and moderate sorption to solids) suggested that PFO would accumulate in surface waters. Estimated mass inventories of PFO in various environmental compartments confirmed that surface waters, especially oceans, contain the majority of PFO. The only environmental sinks for PFO were identified to be sediment burial and transport to the deep oceans, implying a long environmental residence time. Transport pathways for PFCAs in the environment were reviewed, and it was concluded that, in addition to atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors, atmospheric and ocean water transport of the PFCAs themselves could significantly contribute to their long-range transport. It was estimated that 2-12 tonnes/ year of PFO are transported to the Artic by oceanic transport, which is greater than the amount estimated to result from atmospheric transport/degradation of precursors.

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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are man-made chemicals. Their unique properties make them beneficial for a wide range of industrial and consumer applications, such as constituents in fire fighting foams, hydraulic oils and food packaging materials.PFAAs have shown to be highly persistent in the environment, and the toxicological potential of long chain PFAA homologues is of a concern. International regulation and voluntary actions by the industry have been implemented and led to reduced primary emissions of PFAAs to the environment. However, the concentrations of some PFAAs in e.g. birds from the Baltic Sea are still very high and of ecotoxicological concern. Measures to reduce the PFAA contamination require an understanding of the sources and how the PFAAs are being transported in the environment.In this licentiate thesis a mass balance was assembled for perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in the Baltic Sea. A one-box model was used including the input pathways river inflow, atmospheric deposition, wastewater discharges and inflow from the North Sea via the Danish Straits, while the loss processes considered were sediment burial, transformation of the chemicals and outflow to the North Sea via the Danish Straits. Additionally, the inventories of the four target PFAAs in the Baltic Sea were estimated. Both chemical fluxes and inventories were estimated using recently published monitoring data (2005-2010).In order to obtain a detailed perspective on the current knowledge regarding PFAAs in the Baltic Sea, challenges and uncertainties in data selection were discussed for the most dominant input pathways. This included WWTP emissions and calculation of emission factors (EFs), atmospheric deposition and riverine inflow.River inflow and atmospheric deposition were the dominant inputs, while wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents made a minor contribution. The input to the Baltic Sea exceeded the output for all 4 PFAAs, suggesting that inputs were higher during 2005-2010 than during the previous 20 years despite efforts to reduce emissions of PFAAs. Comparing the difference between PFAA input and output with the PFAA inventory, the doubling time for the concentration in the Baltic Sea was estimated to be 8-94 yr for PFHxA, 12-16 yr for PFOA, 3-5 yr for PFDA and 4 yr for PFOS. The surplus of the input can be an effect of retention and delayed release of PFAAs from atmospheric deposition in the soils and groundwater of the watershed.The licentiate thesis contributes to a holistic understanding of the major input and output pathways and inventories of PFAAs in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, it points out current knowledge gaps in our understanding of sources and fate of PFAAs in the aquatic environment.
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    ABSTRACT: The sorption of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) onto five types of soils was investigated in this study. Effects of inorganic salts (CaCl2, NaCl, and Na2SO4) and humic acid (HA) in solution on the extent of sorption of PFOA and PFOS were evaluated. The results indicated that all types of soils had a higher affinity for PFOS than for PFOA. The extent of sorption for PFOA and PFOS increased with the fraction of organic carbon (foc) of soils. The partition coefficient (Kd) values of PFOA and PFOS increased with foc and ionic strengths of inorganic salts. On the contrary, the Kd values decreased with an increase in the concentrations of HA in the solution. The existence of organic matter is the parameter dominating the sorption behaviors of both PFOA and PFOS onto all types of soils studied. In addition, the presence of inorganic salts also affects PFAS’s sorption behaviors. The results in this study should verify profitable for PFOA and PFOS environmental fate modeling and risk assessment in wetland systems.
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