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Response to Comments on "Degradability of an Acrylate-Linked, Fluorotelomer Polymer in Soil"
WASHINGTON, J. W., J. J. ELLINGTON, T. JENKINS, AND H. Yoo. Response to Comments on "Degradability of an Acrylate-Linked, Fluorotelomer Polymer in Soil". ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 44(2):849-850, (2010).
To respond to comments made on a previous journal article.
We thank Russell et al for their careful comments on our paper. We address their comments, however, in all this detail, we emphasize that it is important not to lose track of several overarching issues that we address here and in Supporting Information: (1) We observed an excess of reaction products in our experiment, including sec-alcohols, that cannot be explained without invoking degradation proceeding with half-lives for commercial acrylate-linked fluorotelomer polymers (AFTPs) on the scale of years, assuming AFTP-particle interiors do not participate in degradation; (2) The high AFTP-residual content of Russell obfuscates detection of AFTP-degradation rates having half-lives as short as those we estimated in our study, thereby depriving the study of a legitimate basis for rejection of our conclusions; and (3) The moisture status of the Russell microcosms left an unknown, but probably large, fraction of the test-AFTP surfaces dry, rendering the experimental design ineffective for defending a conclusion of slow degradation. Here, we respond to their specific comments.