Worldwide surveys of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in water environment in recent years

Chinagarn Kunacheva, Shigeo Fujii, Shuhei Tanaka, Lalantha Senevirathna, Nguyen Pham Hong Lien, Munehiro Nozoe, Koji Kimura, Binaya Raj Sliivakoti, Hidenori Harada

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been noted as causes of some of the important environmental problems in recent years due to their occurrences and properties. The most commonly used PFCs are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which have been used in many kinds of products. They have been found in surface water and tap water in both developed and developing countries around the world including in North America, Europe and Asia. In most countries, rivers are the source of tap water, which is one of the important pathways in which PFCs reach humans. It is essential to evaluate PFOS and PFOA contamination in the river basin. The purpose of this field study was to determine the presence of PFOS and PFOA in rivers around the world. The surveys were conducted in 15 countries during 2004 to 2010. In total, 539 samples were collected from the rivers in 41 cities. A solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled with HPLC-ESI-MS/MS were used for the analysis of these chemicals. PFOS and PFOA were detected in all 41 cities not only in industrialized areas but also in non-industrialized areas, representing that these compounds undergo long-range transportation in the environment. The average concentration of PFOS in each city ranged from not detected to 70.1 ng/L. The average concentration of PFOA in each city was in the range 0.2–1,630.2 ng/L. The industrialized areas show higher contamination in both PFOS and PFOA concentrations than non-industrialized areas. Industrial activities are some of the major sources of PFCs contamination in rivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2764-2771
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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