Characterization of occurrence, sources and sinks of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a tropical urban catchment.Environ Pollut. 2017 Aug; 227:397-405.EP
Understanding the sources, occurrence and sinks of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the urban water cycle is important to protect and utilize local water resources. Concentrations of 22 target PFASs and general water quality parameters were determined monthly for a year in filtered water samples from five tributaries and three sampling stations of an urban water body. Of the 22 target PFASs, 17 PFASs were detected with a frequency >93% including PFCAs: C4-C12 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates, C4, C6, C8, and C10 perfluoroalkane sulfonates, perfluorooctane sulfonamides and perfluorooctane sulfonamide substances (FOSAMs), C10 perfluoroalkyl phosphonic acid (C10 PFPA), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonic acid (6:2 FTSA) and C8/C8 perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acid (C8/C8-PFPIA). The most abundant PFASs in water were PFBS (1.4-55 ng/L), PFBA (1.0-23 ng/L), PFOS (1.5-24 ng/L) and PFOA (2.0-21 ng/L). In the tributaries, PFNA concentrations ranged from 1.2 to 87.1 ng/L except in the May 2013 samples of two tributaries, which reached 520 and 260 ng/L. Total PFAS concentrations in the sediment samples ranged from 1.6 to 15 ng/g d.w. with EtFOSAA, PFDoA, PFOS and PFDA being the dominant species. Based on water and sediment data, two types of sources were inferred: one-time or intermittent point sources and continuous non-point sources. FOSAMs and PFOS released continually from non-point sources, C8/C8 PFPIA, PFDoA and PFUnA was released from point sources. The highly water soluble short-chain PFASs including PFBA, PFPeA and PFBS remained predominantly in the water column. The factors governing solution phase concentrations appear to be compound hydrophobicity and sorption to suspended particles. Correlation of the dissolved phase concentrations with precipitation data suggested stormwater was a significant source of PFBA, PFBS, PFUnA and PFDoA. Negative correlations with precipitation indicated sources feeding FOSAA and FOSA directly into the tributaries.