Occurrence and trends in concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in surface waters of eastern China


Spatial distributions of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were investigated in surface waters in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces of eastern China during 2011. A total of 39 samples of surface waters, including 29 rivers, 6 lakes and 4 reservoirs were collected. High performance liquid chromatography/negative electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/(−)ESI-MS/MS) was used to identify and quantify PFASs. Concentrations of PFAS were greater in Shanghai than that in Zhejiang Province. Concentrations of the sum of PFASs (∑PFASs) in Shanghai and Kunshan ranged from 39 to 212 ng L−1, while in Zhejiang Province, concentrations of ∑PFASs ranged from 0.68 to 146 ng L−1. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the prevalent PFAS in Shanghai. In contrast, PFOA and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) were the prevalent PFASs in Zhejiang Province. Concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) ranged from <0.07 to 9.7 ng L−1. Annual mass of ∑PFASs transported by rivers that flow into the East China Sea were calculated to be more than 4000 kg PFASs. Correlation analyses between concentrations of individual PFASs showed the correlation between PFHxA and PFOA was positive, while the correlation between PFHxA and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) was negative in Shanghai, which indicated that PFHxA and PFOA have common sources. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to identify important components or factors that explain different compounds, and results showed that PFHxA and FOSA dominated factor loadings.
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