Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in riverine and coastal sediments of Laizhou Bay, North China


This study investigates the concentrations and distributions of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), including perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkane sulphonates (PFSAs), in surface sediments from Laizhou Bay and its adjacent rivers. ∑ PFAAs showed much higher levels in the river sediment (with a mean of 5.25 ng/g dw) than in the coastal sediment (with a mean of 0.76 ng/g dw). Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the predominant compound, accounting for 50% to 97% of ∑ PFAA concentrations in 70% of the samples. The highest concentrations were detected in the Xiaoqing River, possibly due to the rapid development of the nearby fluorochemical industry. Hydrodynamics strongly influenced the distribution of PFAAs in Laizhou Bay. The hydrophilic property of shorter-chained PFAAs (C ≤ 8) allowed them to be transported to the inner bay via currents, to adsorb onto suspended sediment and then to be deposited. The Xiaoqing River showed the highest PFOA concentration (76.9 ng/g dw) among the bodies of sediment that had been studied worldwide, which might pose a potential threat for the benthic organisms of this river.
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