Perfluorinated compounds in the Pearl River and Yangtze River of China.Chemosphere. 2007 Aug; 68(11):2085-95.C
A total of 14 perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were quantified in river water samples collected from tributaries of the Pearl River (Guangzhou Province, south China) and the Yangtze River (central China). Among the PFCs analyzed, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were the two compounds with the highest concentrations. PFOS concentrations ranged from 0.90 to 99 ng/l and <0.01-14 ng/l in samples from the Pearl River and Yangtze River, respectively; whereas those for PFOA ranged from 0.85 to 13 ng/l and 2.0-260 ng/l. Lower concentrations were measured for perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorooctanesulfoamide (PFOSA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorononaoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA). Concentrations of several perfluorocarboxylic acids, including perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoDA), perfluorotetradecanoic acid (PFTeDA), perfluorohexadecanoic acid (PFHxDA) and perfluorooctadecanoic acid (PFOcDA) were lower than the limits of quantification in all the samples analyzed. The highest concentrations of most PFCs were observed in water samples from the Yangtze River near Shanghai, the major industrial and financial centre in China. In addition, sampling locations in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River with a reduced flow rate might serve as a final sink for contaminants from the upstream river runoffs. Generally, PFOS was the dominant PFC found in samples from the Pearl River, while PFOA was the predominant PFC in water from the Yangtze River. Specifically, a considerable amount of PFBS (22.9-26.1% of total PFC analyzed) was measured in water collected near Nanjing, which indicates the presence of potential sources of PFBS in this part of China. Completely different PFC composition profiles were observed for samples from the Pearl River and the Yangtze River. This indicates the presence of dissimilar sources in these two regions.