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Estimation of PFOS emission from domestic sources in the eastern coastal region of China

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Shuangwei Xie
  • Yonglong Lu
  • Tieyu Wang
  • Shijie Liu
  • Kevin Jones
  • Andy Sweetman
Journal publication date09/2013
JournalEnvironment International
Number of pages8
Original languageEnglish


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and related chemicals (collectively "PFOS equivalents") have been released to the environment through widespread consumer use and disposal of PFOS-containing products like carpet, leather, textiles, paper, food containers, household cleansers, etc. Accordingly, in addition to PFOS-related industries, domestic activities may also considerably contribute to the PFOS emissions in the eastern coastal region of China, which has been characterized by high industrial input. In the present study, domestic emissions of PFOS equivalents derived from municipal wastewater treatment plants were estimated at the county level, using a regression model of domestic emission density with population density and per capita disposable income as independent variables. The total emission load of PFOS equivalents from domestic sources in the eastern coastal region of China was 381 kg in 2010, and large cities were prominent as the emission centers. The domestic emission density averaged 0.37 g/km(2).a for the entire study area. Generally, the Beijing-Tianjin area, Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta, as the most populous and economically developed areas in China, showed significantly higher emission density. Geographical variations within individual provinces were noteworthy. The average per capita discharge load of PFOS equivalents arising from domestic activities was 1.91 mu g/day per capita in the eastern coastal region of China, which is consistent with previous estimates in Korea, but lower than those calculated for developed countries. In comparison, the spatial distributions of provincial PFOS emissions from domestic and industrial sources were similar to each other; however, the latter was much larger for all the provinces.