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1274414 
Journal Article 
Biodegradation of polyfluoroalkyl phosphates as a source of perfluorinated acids to the environment 
Lee, H; D'eon, J; Mabury, SA 
2010 
Yes 
Environmental Science and Technology
ISSN: 0013-936X
EISSN: 1520-5851 
44 
3305-3310 
English 
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been identified as a major source of perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) to aqueous environments. The observed increase in PFCA mass flows from WWTP influent to effluent suggests the biodegradation of commercial fluorinated materials within the WWTP. Commercial fluorinated surfactants are used as greaseproofing agents in food-contact paper products as well as leveling and wetting agents. As WWTPs are likely the major fate of these surfactants, their biodegradation may be a source of PFCA production. One class of commercial surfactants, the polyfluoroalkyl phosphates (PAPs), have been observed in WWTP sludge. While PAPs have been shown to degrade into PFCAs in a rat model, the present study investigates their microbial fate to determine whether the biodegradation of PAPs within a WWTP-simulated system will contribute to the load of PFCAs released. PAPs are applied commercially in mixed formulations of different chain lengths and substitution at the phosphate center. The effect of chain length and phosphate substitution on the biodegradation of PAPs was investigated by incubating mixtures of 4:2, 6:2, 8:2, and 10:2 monosubstituted PAPs (monoPAPs) in an aerobic microbial system and by separately incubating the 6:2 monoPAP and 6:2 disubstituted PAP (diPAP) for 92 days. Headspace sampling revealed production of the fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) from the hydrolysis of the PAP phosphate ester linkages. Analysis of the aqueous phase revealed microbial transformation of the PAPs to the final PFCA products was possible. The majority of the oxidation products observed were consistent with previous investigations that have suggested fluorotelomer precursor compounds degrade predominantly via a beta-oxidation-like mechanism. However, in this study, the detection of odd-chain PFCAs suggests that other pathways may be important. The present study demonstrated microbially mediated biodegradation of PAPs to PFCAs. This observation, together with the diPAP concentrations observed in WWTP sludge, suggest PAPs-containing commercial products may be a significant contributor to the increased PFCA mass flows observed in WWTP effluents. 
PFAS
• 6:2/8:2 diPAP
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• 6:2 diPAP
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• 6:2 monoPAP
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• 8:2 diPAP
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• 8:2 monoPAP
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• FtOH 6:2
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• ^Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
     FtOH 6:2 (647-42-7)
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     6:2 monoPAP (57678-01-0)
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     6:2 diPAP (57677-95-9)
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     8:2 monoPAP (57678-03-2)
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     8:2 diPAP (678-41-1)
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     6:2/8:2 diPAP (943913-15-3)
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