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Journal Article 
Leaching and bioavailability of selected perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) from soil contaminated by firefighting activities 
Bräunig, J; Baduel, C; Barnes, CM; Mueller, JF 
Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
EISSN: 1879-1026 
Historical usage of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at firefighting training grounds (FTGs) is a potential source of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) to the surrounding environment. In this study the leaching of PFAAs from field contaminated soil and their uptake into biota was investigated. Soil was sampled from FTGs at two airports and the total as well as the leachable concentration of 12 PFAAs was determined. A greenhouse study was carried out to investigate the uptake of PFAAs from soils into earthworms (Eisenia fetida) and wheat grass (Elymus scaber). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) were the most dominant PFAAs in all soils samples, with concentrations of PFOS reaching 13,400 ng/g. Leachable concentrations of PFOS and PFHxS reached up to 550 μg/L and 22 μg/L, respectively. In earthworms concentrations of PFOS reached 65,100 ng/g after a 28-day exposure period, while in wheat grass the highest concentration was measured for uptake of PFHxS (2,800 ng/g) after a 10-week growth-period. Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for earthworms ranged from 0.1 for perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) to 23 for perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoA) and initially showed a decreasing trend with increasing perfluoroalkyl chain length, followed by an increase with increasing perfluoroalkyl chain length for perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs). In wheat grass the highest BAF was found for perfluorobutanoic acid (BAF = 70), while the lowest was observed for perfluorononanoic acid (BAF = 0.06). BAFs in wheat grass decreased with increasing perfluoroalkyl chain length for both PFCAs and perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs). The results show that PFAAs readily leach from impacted soils and are bioaccumulated into earthworms and plants in an analyte dependent way. This shows considerable potential for PFAAs to move away from the original source either by leaching or uptake into ecological receptors, which may be a potential entry route into the terrestrial foodweb. 
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