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Elevated levels of perfluoroalkyl substances in estuarine sediments of Charleston, SC.

The Science of the total environment (2015-04-02)
Natasha D White, Len Balthis, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Amila O De Silva, Qian Wu, Katherine M French, James Daugomah, Christine Spencer, Patricia A Fair
ABSTRACT

Urban areas are sources of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the environment, although little is known about specific point sources and distribution of PFASs. Sentinel species, like bottlenose dolphins, are important indicators of environmental perturbations. The high PFAS levels found in dolphins inhabiting Charleston, South Carolina prompted investigation of these chemicals in this area. This study provides further evidence on the extent of contamination and potential sources of PFASs. In this study, concentrations of 11 PFASs measured in estuarine sediments collected in 2012 from the Charleston Harbor and the Ashley and Cooper Rivers (n=36) in South Carolina revealed higher levels than those reported in any other U.S. urban areas. Detectable levels were found in all sample locations with mean total PFAS concentrations of 3.79ngg(-1) (range 0.22 to 19.2ngg(-1) d.w.). Dominant compounds were perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (mean 1.52ngg(-1); range 0.09-7.37ngg(-1) d.w.), followed by perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) (mean 0.83ngg(-1); range 0.06-4.76ngg(-1) d.w.) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) (mean 0.42ngg(-1); range 0.02-2.52ngg(-1) d.w.). PFOS levels in sediments at 19 of 36 sites (representing 52% of the study area) exceeded the published global median PFOS sediment concentration of 0.54ngg(-1).

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorononanoic acid, 97%
Sigma-Aldrich
Potassium hydride, 30 wt % dispersion in mineral oil
Sigma-Aldrich
Tricosafluorododecanoic acid, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorodecanoic acid, 98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Potassium, chunks (in mineral oil), 98% trace metals basis
Sigma-Aldrich
Potassium, ingot, 99.95% trace metals basis
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluoroundecanoic acid, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Potassium hydride, in paraffin
Sigma-Aldrich
Potassium, cubes (in mineral oil), 99.5% trace metals basis
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluorooctanoic acid, 95%
Sigma-Aldrich
Perfluoroheptanoic acid, ≥97.0%
Sigma-Aldrich
Heptadecafluorooctanesulfonic acid solution, ~40% in H2O (T)