Occurrence, sources and health risk of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in soil, water and sediment from a drinking water source area
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) enter into environmental metric via various pathways in the process of manufacturing and consuming the products containing PFASs. Yuqiao reservoir (YQR) is a major drinking water source in Tianjin of China, where little attention was given to PFASs. To explore the occurrence, source and risk of 17 PFASs, multi-media environmental including soil, water, and sediment were sampled from this water source area. The ∑PFASs concentrations of surface water, groundwater, soil and sediment ranged from 5.839 to 120.885 ng/L, 1.426 to 17.138 ng/L, 0.622 to 5.089 μg/kg dw, and 0.240 to 1.210 μg/kg dw respectively. Some short-chained (C4-C8) PFASs were detected widely such as PFOA, PFBA, PFHxA, PFBS, PFHpA and PFPeA in surface water and groundwater, with the detection frequency of ＞78%, and PFBA and PFOA dominated in the 17 PFASs. In addition, the correlations between total PFASs and TOC were significant at 0.05 level, especially in surface water with R2 = 0.9165 (p = 0.011). In terms of vertical distribution characteristics of ∑PFASs, the ∑PFASs in four sediment cores showed a decreasing trend at first, and then an increasing trend from the bottom to the top associated with TOC. PFBA/PFOA and PFHpA/PFOA showed better linear correlations with R2 of 0.5541 (p = 0.039), and for PFNA/PFOA and PFHpA/PFOA with R2 of 0.6312 (p = 0.032) at the 0.05 level in the surface water, which indicated that sewage and atmospheric precipitation were the major sources. Though the RQ results based on the measured concentrations and reference values in environmental media revealed lower risks, the potential hazard may occur due to accumulation characteristics and long-distance transmission capability of PFASs. Hence, the corresponding management strategies should be taken, such as control over emission at source, product substitution and strengthening legislation, to eliminate potential risks to human health.