Brominated flame retardants and perfluoroalkyl acids in groundwater, tile drainage, soil, and crop grain following a high application of municipal biosolids to a field
Dewatered municipal biosolids (DMB) were applied at a rate of 22Mgdwha(-1) to an agricultural field in fall 2008. Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs; BDE-47, -99, -100, -153, -154, -183, -197, -207, -209), other brominated flame retardants (BFRs; HBB, PBEB, DBDPE, BTBPE) and perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs; PFHxS, PFOS, PFDS, PFOSA, PFHpA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA, PFTA) were monitored in tile drainage, groundwater (2m, 4m and 6m depth), soil cores (0-0.3m) pre- and post-application, DMB aggregates incorporated into the soil post-application, and in wheat (Triticum spp.) planted post-application. Several compounds were detected in soil and water pre-application and on a reference field plot. PBDEs, other BFRs and PFAAs were detected in tile drainage and 2m groundwater throughout the post-application study period; a few PBDEs were also detected sporadically at lower depths in groundwater. Some of these compounds had not been detected pre-application, while some exceeded reference field plot/pre-application levels (some significantly (p<0.05) in tile drainage); both cases indicating biosolid-based water contamination. In DMB aggregates, several PBDE congeners were found to have dissipated exponentially, with reductions >90% in many of them within 1year post-application. Exponential dissipation of other BFRs and PFAAs in DMB aggregates were not significant. No PBDEs, other BFRs, or PFAAs were detected in wheat grain.