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(081) Fascinating fluoro facts of perfluorinatedalkyl carboxylates and sulfonates.
Mabury, Scott*,1, Martin, John1, Moody, Cheryl1, Ellis, David1, Muir, Derek2, Sibley, Paul3, Solomon, Keith3, Stock, Naomi1, 1 University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada2 National Water Research Institute, Burlington, ON, Canada3 University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
ABSTRACT- The perfluorination of carbon chains results in significant alteration of the physical properties of vapour pressure, water solubility, bioconcentration, sorption, and reactivity which ultimately drives their transport and wide-occurrence in the environment. The apparent lack of any degradation pathway for the anionic fluorinated surfactants (FSs) resulted in our classifying them as redefining persistence. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates are generally more bioaccumulative in comparison to equal-size carboxylates and that each CF2 group is worth ~10x in partitioning ability. Sophisticated MS methods have allowed the detection of FSs or their precursors in air, water, sediment, and biota and the discovery of new FSs not previously observed. Although generally of low toxicity to most aquatic organisms, some species show high sensitivity to PFOS, the most prominent member of the chemical class. Volatile sulfonamide alcohols have been measured in air across North America and represent a plausible mechanism for long-range transport to remote regions. These materials are presumably PFOS precursors although the specific transformation mechanism is still under investigation. Modeling results suggest these air residues represent fugitive emissions of residual alcohol from carpet, paper, and other surface treated materials. The discovery that fluoro-telomer alcohols are measurable in air presents the question of whether there are alternative pathways to perfluoroalkyl carboxylates in the environment. FSs are a fascinating class of compounds that challenge some of our notions about chemical fate and disposition, and ultimately represent a whole new class of environmental pollutant.
Key words: persistent, bioaccumalative, fluorochemicals, mass spectrometry
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