Characteristics, pollution patterns and risks of Perfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water sources of Taiwan

By Jheng-Jie Jiang, Astri Rino Okvitasari, Fang-Yu Huang, and Chin-Sheng Tsai
October 27, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128579

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are found globally in the environment, but for Taiwan there is a lack of studies on PFAS occurrence, source apportionment, and health risks in drinking water sources. We collected surface water samples from the Baoshan Reservoir of Taiwan and used Positive Matrix Factorization to attribute PFAS contaminants to possible sources. The health index (HI) was used to evaluate the health risk, which was then compared to various international advisory level guidelines. PFOA and PFOS were found to be the most predominant compounds, with concentrations averaging 20.2 ng/L and 16.7 ng/L, respectively. The joint contribution of domestic and commercial waste totaled 61.2% as the predominant source of pollution, followed by urban activities as a secondary source contributing 38.8%. Using the USEPA reference dose, a health risk analysis of Baoshan Reservoir drinking water did not reflect a formal high health risk (HI < 1.0), however potential risks to human health may be present since the sum of PFOA and PFOS (130 ng/L) exceeded the USEPA Lifetime Health Advisory level (70 ng/L). This investigation provides information and reference points for further reviews of PFAS presence in public water supplies.

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