Levels, distributions, and sources of legacy and novel per- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the topsoil of Tianjin, China

Guibin Jiang , Donghui Ma , Huifang Zhong , Jitao Lv , Yawei Wang


Received March 29, 2021,Revised , Accepted April 26, 2021, Available online May 28, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 71-81

Soil is a major sink for per- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), wherein PFAS may be transferred through the food chain to predators at upper trophic levels, which poses a threat to human health. Herein, the concentrations and distributions of legacy and novel PFAS in topsoil samples from different functional areas in Tianjin were comprehensively investigated. Seventeen PFAS congeners were identified, with concentrations ranging from 0.21 ng/g to 5.35 ng/g, with a mean concentration of 1.25 ng/g. The main PFAS in the topsoil was perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). 6:2 chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonate (6:2 Cl-PFESA; <MDL–1.95 ng/g, mean 0.11 ng/g), as an emerging substitute for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), was also detected in the topsoil. It showed slightly higher concentrations than PFOS (<MDL–1.62 ng/g, mean 0.10 ng/g), indicating it has gradually replaced legacy PFOS in this area. Based on the positive-definite matrix factor (PMF) receptor model, the major PFAS sources was dominated by textile treatment, metal electroplating plants, and some potential precursors of PFAS with longer chains (>C8) were the major sources (43.4%), followed by food packaging as well as coating materials (25.5%). In addition, Spearman correlation analysis and the structural equation model showed that population density significantly impacted the PFAS distribution in the topsoil of Tianjin.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3