Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been detected in the environment, in biota and in humans. The exposure pathways of these chemicals to humans are unclear. Tap water and bottled water are two possible pathways of PFCs occurrence in human blood. The major objectives of the study were to identify the occurrences of PFCs in tap and bottled water and to evaluate conventional water treatment processes performance on removal of PFCs. Solid phase extraction coupled with HPLC-ESI-MS/MS were used for the analysis of ten PFCs. PFCs were detected in all tap water samples and bottled water samples. The average PFOS and PFOA concentrations in tap water were 0.17 and 3.58 ng l−1, respectively. PFOS and PFOA were not similarly distributed in all areas in the city. PFCs concentrations were higher in bottled water than in tap water. Moreover, the current treatment processes were not effective in removing PFCs in aqueous phase. Nevertheless, PFCs in particulate phase were effectively removed by primary sedimentation and rapid sand filtration. Based on the guideline from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, PFOA concentrations in tap water and bottled water found in Bangkok were not expected to cause any health risks.
Keywords: bottled water, perfluorinated compounds, PFOA, PFOS, tap water, water treatment plant