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Risk assessment and source identification of perfluoroalkyl acids in surface and ground water: spatial distribution around a mega-fluorochemical industrial park, China

Liu, Zhaoyang; Lu, Yonglong; Wang, Tieyu; Wang, Pei; Li, Qifeng; Johnson, Andrew C.; Sarvajayakesavalu, Suriyanarayanan; Sweetman, Andrew J.. 2016 Risk assessment and source identification of perfluoroalkyl acids in surface and ground water: spatial distribution around a mega-fluorochemical industrial park, China. Environment International, 91. 69-77. 10.1016/j.envint.2016.02.020

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Abstract/Summary

Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) can be released to water bodies during manufacturing and application of PFAA-containing products. In this study, the contamination pattern, attenuation dynamics, sources, pathways, and risk zoning of PFAAs in surface and ground water was examined within a 10 km radius from a mega-fluorochemical industrial park (FIP). Among 12 detected PFAAs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) dominated, followed by shorter-chained perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs). PFAA-containing waste was discharged from the FIP, with levels reaching 1.86 mg/L in the nearby rivers flowing to the Bohai sea together with up to 273 μg/L in the local groundwater in the catchment. These levels constitute a human health risks for PFOA and other shorter-chained PFCAs within this location. The concentrations of ∑ PFAAs in surface water strongly correlated with the local groundwater. The dominant pollution pathways of PFAAs included (i) discharge into surface water then to groundwater through seepage, and (ii) atmospheric deposition from the FIP, followed by infiltration to groundwater. As the distance increased from the source, PFAAs levels in groundwater showed a sharp initial decrease followed by a gentle decline. The contamination signal from the FIP site on PFAAs in groundwater existed within a radius of 4 km, and at least 3 km from the polluted Dongzhulong River. The major controlling factor in PFAA attenuation processes was likely to be dilution together with dispersion and adsorption to aquifer solids. The relative abundance of PFOA (C8) declined while those of shorter-chained PFCAs (C4–C6) increased during surface water seepage and further dispersion in groundwater.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envint.2016.02.020
CEH Sections: CEH Fellows
Rees (from October 2014)
ISSN: 0160-4120
Additional Keywords: PFAAs, fluorochemical industrial park, transport, attenuation, risk
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Health
Date made live: 04 May 2016 09:56 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513530

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