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The fate of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances within a melting snowpack of a boreal forest

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Pollution
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)190-198
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Per- and polyfluoroallcyl substances (PFAS) were measured systematically in a snowpack in northern Sweden to determine chemical behaviour during seasonal melt. Average PFAS concentrations were generally low, but displayed a wide range with median (range) concentrations of PFOA and PFOS of 66.5 pg L-1 (ND-122) and 20.5 pg L-1 (2.60-253) respectively. Average concentrations of the shorter chain, C4 and C5 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs), were similar to 10-fold higher. Differences in the PFAS concentrations and profile were observed between surface snow and deeper layers, with evidence of PFAS migration to deeper snow layers as melt progressed. Chemical loads (ng m(-2)) for C4-9 PFCAs decreased gradually as melt progressed, but increased for C-4, C6-8 PFSAs and the longer chain C10-12 PFCAs. This enrichment in the diminishing snowpack is an unusual phenomenon that will affect PFAS elution with meltwater and subsequent entry to catchment surface waters. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.