Sources, Fate and Transport of Perfluorocarboxylates

Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 02/2006; 40(1):32-44. DOI: 10.1021/es0512475
Source: PubMed


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Ian Cousins
  • Source
    • "PFOS salts are widely used in fire-fighting foams and metal plating (Wang et al., 2013; Moody and Field, 2000), while PFOA salts have their major application in the industrial production of fluoropolymers (Butenhoff et al., 2004; Post et al., 2012). Both compounds are also widely present in common consumer products (Prevedouros et al., 2006). The Danube River basin was chosen because abundant monitoring data are available for model evaluation for the main river and the tributaries from the 2013 Joint Danube Survey 3 (JDS3) (www. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present STREAM-EU (Spatially and Temporally Resolved Exposure Assessment Model for EUropean basins), a novel dynamic mass balance model for predicting the environmental fate of organic contaminants in river basins. STREAM-EU goes beyond the current state-of-the-science in that it can simulate spatially and temporally-resolved contaminant concentrations in all relevant environmental media (surface water, groundwater, snow, soil and sediments) at the river basin scale. The model can currently be applied to multiple organic contaminants in any river basin in Europe, but the model framework is adaptable to any river basin in any continent. We simulate the environmental fate of perfluoroctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the Danube River basin and compare model predictions to recent monitoring data. The model predicts PFOS and PFOA concentrations that agree well with measured concentrations for large stretches of the river. Disagreements between the model predictions and measurements in some river sections are shown to be useful indicators of unknown contamination sources to the river basin.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Chemosphere
  • Source
    • "These chemicals are characterized by their stability, persistence and ability to repel oil and water[1]. Despite the fact that common PFASs, such as perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorohexanesulfanoate (PFHxS) are being phased out[2,3], exposure in humans remains ubiquitous. The majority of North American women have detectable concentrations of PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS456. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are ubiquitous, persistent pollutants widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods. There is a limited body of literature suggesting that these chemicals may alter metabolic pathways and growth trajectories. The relationship between prenatal exposures to these chemicals and gestational weight gain (GWG) has received limited attention. One objective was to analyze the associations among maternal plasma levels of three common perfluoroalkyl substances (perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexanesulfanoate (PFHxS)) and GWG. Additionally, we explored whetherGWGwas associated with cord blood PFAS levels. This study utilized data collected in the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, a trans-Canada cohort study of 2001 pregnant women. Our analysis quantified associations between (1) maternal PFAS concentrations and GWG and (2) GWG and cord blood PFAS concentrations. Maternal PFOS concentrations were positively associated with GWG (b = 0.39 95% CI: 0.02, 0.75). Interquartile increases in GWG were significantly associated with elevated cord blood PFOA (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.56) and PFOS (OR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.40) concentrations. No statistically significant associations were observed between GWG and either measure of PFHxS. These findings warrant elucidation of the potential underlying mechanisms.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  • Source
    • "The " precursors " compounds measured in the atmosphere include fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOH), perfluoroalkyl sulfonamides (FOSA) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonamidoethanols (FOSE). The main sources of FTOHs in the environment are associated with production, use and disposal of fluorotelomer-based products, while the source of FOSA and FOSE is believed to be the production of perfluorooctyl sulfonyl-based compounds (Prevedouros et al., 2006). This study presents the results of multiyear measurements (2008e2013) of organohalogen compounds in the atmosphere in North Greenland. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atmospheric concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and neutral per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been measured at Villum Research Station, Station Nord (North Greenland) in the period 2008–2013. Atmospheric concentrations of OCPs at the same site have been previously reported for the years 2008–2010. The detection frequency and the average concentrations of OCPs have not significantly changed since the previous study. PBDE congeners (∑13PBDEs) were measured for the first time in North Greenland at concentrations similar to those observed for other remote sites, confirming that these compounds are ubiquitous in the Northern Hemisphere. The ∑13PBDEs concentration ranged from not detected (n.d.) to 6.26 pg m−3. The BDE congeners found in more than 30% of the samples were BDE-17, BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-71, BDE-99 and BDE-100. Also for neutral PFAS we present for the first time a multiyear series of measurements for North Greenland. The average sum of the seven measured neutral PFAS (∑7PFAS) ranged from 1.82 to 32.1 pg m−3. The most abundant compound was 8:2 FTOH (44% of ∑7PFAS), followed by 6:2 FTOH and 10:2 FTOH. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonamides (FOSA) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonamidoethanols (FOSE) were also detected but at much lower concentrations than FTOHs.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Environmental Pollution
Show more