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Novel Polyfluorinated Compounds Identified Using High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Downstream of Manufacturing Facilities near Decatur, Alabama
Newton, S., R. McMahen, J. Stoeckel, M. Chislock, A. Lindstrom, AND M. Strynar. Novel Polyfluorinated Compounds Identified Using High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Downstream of Manufacturing Facilities near Decatur, Alabama. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 51(3):1544-1552, (2017).
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), are used in a variety of consumer products and some, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), have been recognized as global contaminants. Concern about the persistence, bioaccumulation potential, and toxicity of PFOS and PFOA has led to restrictions on production or phase outs and even international restriction via inclusion in the Stockholm Convention. Fluorine based surfactants exhibit desirable performance which other chemical structures cannot replicate and thus, manufacturers have been producing new polyfluorinated materials in place of the more traditional PFASs. It is therefore likely that residents in some communities near fluorochemical manufacturing facilities may still be dealing with lingering contamination of legacy PFAS while little is known about novel fluorochemicals that have replaced the traditional chemistries.
Concern over persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity has led to international regulation and phase-outs of certain perfluorinated compounds and little is known about their replacement products. High resolution mass spectrometry was used to investigate the occurrence and identity of replacement fluorinated compounds in surface water and sediment of the Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. Analysis of legacy Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) revealed a marked increase in concentrations downstream of manufacturing facilities, with the most abundant compounds being perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as high as 220 ng L–1, 160 ng L–1, and 120 ng L–1, respectively. A series of nine polyfluorinated carboxylic acids was discovered, each differing by CF2CH2. These acids are likely products or byproducts of a manufacturing process that uses 1,1-difluoroethene, which is registered to a manufacturing facility in the area. Two other predominant compounds discovered have structures consistent with perfluorobutanesulfonate and perfluoroheptanoic acid but have a single hydrogen substituted for a fluorine someplace in their structure. A polyfluoroalkyl sulfate with differing mixes of hydrogen and fluorine substitution was also observed. N-methyl perfluorobutane sulfonamidoacetic acid (MeFBSAA) was observed at high concentrations and several other perfluorobutane sulfonamido substances were present as well.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION