Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 1, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the aquatic environment: a review of their occurrence and fate

Author affiliations

Abstract

The occurrence and fate of polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in the aquatic environment has been recognized as one of the emerging issues in environmental chemistry. PFCs comprise a diverse group of chemicals that are widely used as processing additives during fluoropolymer production and as surfactants in consumer applications for over 50 years. PFCs are known to be persistent, bioaccumulative and have possible adverse effects on humans and wildlife. As a result, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) has been added to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) list of the Stockholm Convention in May 2009. However, their homologues, neutral precursor compounds and new PFCs classes continue to be produced. In general, several PFCs from different classes have been detected ubiquitously in the aqueous environment while the concentrations usually range between pg and ng per litre for individual compounds. Sources of PFCs into the aqueous environment are both point sources (e.g., wastewater treatment plant effluents) and nonpoint sources (e.g., surface runoff). The detected congener composition in environmental samples depends on their physicochemical characteristics and may provide information to their sources and transport pathways. However, the dominant transport pathways of individual PFCs to remote regions have not been conclusively characterised to date. The objective of this article is to give an overview on existing knowledge of the occurrence, fate and processes of PFCs in the aquatic environment. Finally, this article identifies knowledge gaps, presents conclusions and recommendations for future work.

Graphical abstract: Polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the aquatic environment: a review of their occurrence and fate

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
23 Jul 2010
Accepted
23 Sep 2010
First published
28 Oct 2010

J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 20-31
Article type
Critical Review

Polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the aquatic environment: a review of their occurrence and fate

L. Ahrens, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 20
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00373E

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements