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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Occurrence and source apportionment of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in the atmosphere in China

Deming Han1, Yingge Ma2, Cheng Huang2, Xufeng Zhang1, Hao Xu1, Yong Zhou1, Shan Liang1, Xiaojia Chen1, Xiqian Huang1, Haoxiang Liao1, Shuang Fu1, Xue Hu1, and Jinping Cheng1 Deming Han et al.
  • 1School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
  • 2State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of the Formation and Prevention of Urban Air Pollution Complex, Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, Shanghai 200233, China

Abstract. Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a form of toxic pollutant that can be transported across the globe and accumulated in the bodies of wildlife and humans. A nationwide geographical investigation considering atmospheric PFAAs was conducted in China, which provides an excellent chance to investigate their occurences, spatial trends, and potential sources. The total concentrations of thirteen PFAAs were 6.19–292.6 pg/m3, with an average value of 39.8 ± 28.1 pg/m3, which were higher than other urban levels but lower than point source measurements. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was the dominant PFAAs (20.6 %), followed by perfluoro–hexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluoro–heptanoic acid (PFPeA). An increasing seasonal trend of PFAAs concentrations was shown as summer < autumn < spring < winter, which may be initiated by stagnant meteorological conditions. Spatially, the content of PFAAs displayed a declining gradient trend of central areas > eastern areas > western areas, and Henan contributed as the largest proportion of PFAAs. Four sources of PFAAs were identified using a positive matrix factorization (PMF) model, including PFOS–based products (26.1 %), PFOA–based, and PFNA–based products (36.6 %), degradation products of fluoro–telomere–based products (15.5 %), and an unknown source (21.8 %).

Deming Han et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Deming Han et al.
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Short summary
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) pollution is a hot issue globally, which have severe toxicity, existed ubiquitiously in environment. China produce and use a large quantity and becoming the emerging contamination hotspots in the world. Understanding their extract sources would be great benefit to management of PFAAs. This manuscript provided the first research of atmospheric PFAAs in China, successfully identified four major potential factors affecting PFAAs variations via PMF model.
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) pollution is a hot issue globally, which have severe toxicity,...