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Volatile per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the remote atmosphere of the western Antarctic Peninsula: an indirect source of perfluoroalkyl acids to Antarctic waters

Del Vento, Sabino and Halsall, Crispin and Gioia, Rosalinda and Jones, Kevin and Dachs, Jordi (2012) Volatile per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds in the remote atmosphere of the western Antarctic Peninsula: an indirect source of perfluoroalkyl acids to Antarctic waters. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 3 (4). pp. 450-455. ISSN 1309-1042

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    Abstract

    Volatile per– and polyfluoroalkyl compounds were measured in air in the vicinity of the Western Antarctic Peninsula during February 2009 (Austral summer). The 6:2, 8:2 and 10:2 fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) were the most abundant compounds with 8:2 and 10:2 FTOH concentrations averaging 9.9 and 7.4 pgm –3 respectively, followed by the shorter chain (C4) compounds of methyl perfluorobutane sulfonamide (MeFBSA) and sulfonamidoethanol (MeFBSE) with average concentrations of 3 to 4 pgm–3. Methyl/ethyl fluorooctane sulfonamides and sulfonamidoethanols (FOSA/Es) were <1 pgm–3 in all air samples (n = 8). The concentrations of FTOHs and FOSAs were in good agreement with a previous study (2007) that measured these chemicals in the background atmosphere of the Southern Ocean, although the levels of the MeFBSA/E were found to be 10–fold higher and possibly indicative of the increased use of these chemicals. Air mass back trajectories revealed that air mass movement was from the Antarctic landmass or from the Southern Ocean, the latter in keeping with the prevailing direction of the Antarctic Circulation Current. Those samples corresponding to air passing over the Antarctic Peninsula did not show notable differences in chemical concentrations or profile indicating that the scientific bases located on or near the Peninsula did not appear to influence PFC levels in the regional atmosphere.Given the lack of air mass incursions from the north (i.e. from the South American continent) then the levels measured here are representative of background concentrations around Antarctica. However,the relatively high levels of MeFBSE were surprising given the reported reactivity of this chemical and short atmospheric residence time. It is likely that this compound, alongside MeFBSA, is providing a source of C2–C4 perfluoroalkyl acids(PFAs)to Antarctic surface waters. We recommend that long–term air monitoring be established in Antarctica for volatile PFCs and possibly accompanied by deposition monitoring for the PFAs.

    Item Type: Article
    Journal or Publication Title: Atmospheric Pollution Research
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
    ID Code: 58749
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 02 Oct 2012 08:59
    Refereed?: Yes
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 00:12
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/58749

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