Occurrence and distribution of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in natural forest soils : A nationwide study in China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Zhen Zhao
  • Jun Li
  • Hongwen Sun
  • Gan Zhang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-602
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Volume645
Online published18 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018

Abstract

Forests serve as the primary reservoir for organic carbon above ground. Previous studies have revealed that forest soils play key roles in the retention of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In this study, the occurrence and distribution of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) were investigated in 54 surface soil samples from 28 natural forested mountain sites across China between 2012 and 2013. The detection frequency of PFOA (70%) was significantly higher than that of PFOS (4%). PFOA levels ranged from <0.9 to 9.0 pg·g−1 dry weight (dw). Levels of PFOA and PFOS in forest soils were significantly lower than those in agricultural, urban and rural areas in China. Relatively high levels of PFOA were detected in Hubei Province (Jiugong Mountain, average: 3.4 pg·g−1 dw) and Jiangxi Province (Wugong Mountain, average: 4.4 pg·g−1 dw), where many domestic fluoropolymer manufacturers are located. PFOS was only detected in these two provinces (2.2 pg·g−1 dw and 2.7 pg·g−1 dw, respectively). From most of the surveyed mountains, the concentrations of PFOA increased with elevation. The lower temperature and greater precipitation probably made PFOA and its precursors available to transport and degrade more readily at higher altitude sites. A relatively higher level (1.9 ± 1.3 pg·g−1 dw) of PFOA was found in the broadleaf evergreen forest area, mainly due to the high industrial emissions, plant retention, and precipitation rate in this area. Source were the dominant factor controlling the spatial distribution of PFOA in natural forest soils in China.

Research Area(s)

  • Altitude, Forest soil, Natural mountain, PFOA, PFOS

Citation Format(s)

Occurrence and distribution of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in natural forest soils : A nationwide study in China. / Wang, Qi; Zhao, Zhen; Ruan, Yuefei; Li, Jun; Sun, Hongwen; Zhang, Gan.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 645, 15.12.2018, p. 596-602.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review