Chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonate (Cl-PFESA; trade name F-53B) is an alternative product for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) used in metal plating; little is known about its levels in the environment and its risks. To our knowledge, the present study constitutes the first report of Cl-PFESA in the atmosphere. In 2006 to 2014, C8 Cl-PFESA, along with ionic perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), was detected in atmospheric particulate matter in Dalian, China. Concentrations of C8 Cl-PFESA increased from 140 pg/m(3) in 2007 to 722 pg/m(3) in 2014. Levels of 11 (total) ionic PFAAs increased in 2006 to 2008 and decreased afterward, with a range of 35.7 to 860 pg/m(3) . The PFAAs in the particulate matter were dominated by perfluorocarboxylates, with perfluorooctanoate detected at the highest concentration at a mean level of 71.7 pg/m(3) , followed by perfluoroheptanoate and perfluorohexanoate. Perfluorosulfonates were detected at lower levels, with mean concentrations of PFOS, perfluorobutanesulfonate, and perfluorohexane sulfonate of 5.73, 1.64, and 1.24 pg/m(3) , respectively. Back-trajectory analysis suggested that the air mass approaching Dalian during the sampling originated from the northwest, where fluorochemical industry parks and metal plating industries are densely located. No significant correlation was observed between Cl-PFESA and the ionic PFAAs. The relatively high Cl-PFESA concentrations suggested that it possibly contributed largely to the previously reported exposure to undefined organic fluorine compounds, for which further research on emission and environmental risks is needed. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-6. © 2017 SETAC.