John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Sorption of per‐and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) on filter media: Implications for phase partitioning studies

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Per‐and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are ubiquitous in the environment. Investigations into their fate and potential phase‐partitioning behaviour require separation of solid from aqueous phases via filtration. However, sorption of aqueous‐phase PFASs on filtration media may lead to underestimation of PFAS concentrations in the aqueous phase. We investigated the sorption of perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs), perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs), perfluoroalkyl phosphonic acids (PFPAs), perfluoroalkyl phosphinic acids (PFPiAs), polyfluoroalkyl phosphate monoesters (monoPAPs), polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters (diPAPs), fluorotelomer sulfonates (FTSs), and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) on filtration media. The effects of concentration (3 spiking levels), filter media (4 types), matrix (4 matrices) and compound structure on sorption are reported. Glass fibre filtration resulted in the least sorption, while polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters resulted in the most sorption (up to 98%). Analyte concentration had no significant effect. Sorption was generally consistent across matrix type except for samples affected by aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) deployment, which displayed high sorption of PFOS on nylon filters. Sorption usually increased with increasing number of carbon or fluorine atoms and was most pronounced for PFPiAs and diPAPs (30‐75% sorption). Overall, glass fiber filters are recommended over nylon filters in environmental samples when phase separation is required. Use of filtration media for PFAS must be preceded by matrix‐specific testing to account for unpredictable effects. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2014 SETAC

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