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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013 Feb;64(2):198-207. doi: 10.1007/s00244-012-9832-x. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Polyfluorinated and perfluorinated chemicals in precipitation and runoff from cities across eastern and central China.

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Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin, China.


Twenty-three polychlorinated and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were investigated in water phase and particulate matters of 19 precipitation samples (18 snow samples and 1 rain sample) from different cities across eastern and central China collected in February 2010. The PFCs in samples of 9e precipitation events during more than half a year at 1 site in Tianjin and 6 successive samples during 1 precipitation event were measured to elucidate the change of PFC in precipitation. In addition, PFCs in 3 runoffs at different kinds of sites in Tianjin were compared with those in the corresponding precipitation. The results showed that the particulate matters separated from the precipitation contained undetectable PFCs. The total PFC concentration ranged between 4.7 and 152 ng L(-1) in water phase of the precipitation samples, with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) being detected at all of the sampling sites and the dominant PFC at most of the sampling sites. Some potential precursors of environmentally concerned PFCs and their degradation intermediates were measured simultaneously, among which 6:2 fluorotelomer unsaturated carboxylic acid (6:2 FTUCA), 8:2 FTUCA, and  × (3, 4, 5, 7):3 acid [F(CF(2))xCH(2)CH(2)COOH] were measured for the first time in Chinese precipitations; however, their concentrations were all lower than the limits of detection except that 6:2 FTUCA and 8:2 FTUCA could be detected in 3 and 8 precipitation samples, respectively. No clear seasonal variation in PFC concentrations in precipitation was observed during half a year; however, a relatively greater average concentration of total PFCs was observed during winter and summer compared with spring. The concentration of individual PFCs showed an obvious descending trend in the successive samples of the precipitation event. PFOA and perfluorononanoic acid in runoffs collected from different sites showed the following similar pattern-gas station > highway > university campus-whereas the other detected PFCs had no concurrent trend.

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