Distribution and release of PFAS from AFFF-impacted asphalt: How does it compare to concrete?

By Yijing Li, Trent A. Key, Phong HN Vo, Scott Porman, Anita Thapalia, Jeffrey T. McDonough, Stephanie Fiorenza, Craig M. Barnes, Jochen F. Mueller, and Phong K. Thai
J. Hazard. Mater.
February 5, 2024
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2024.133627

Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF)-impacted asphalt and concrete may serve as potential secondary sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the environment through surficial leaching. We aimed to understand the vertical distribution and surficial release of PFAS from AFFF-impacted asphalt and concrete cores collected from various locations (∼10–70 m distance between samples). Among the PFAS analyzed, 6:2 FTS was observed as having the highest concentration in the surface layer (0 – 0.5 cm) of concrete (225 µg kg−1) and in the runoff from the concrete (2600 ng L−1). PFOS was detected at the highest concentration in the surface layer (0 – 0.5 cm) of asphalt (47 µg kg−1) and associated runoff (780 ng L−1). The total mass of PFAS released during three rainfall simulations accounts for a fraction of the total mass in the surface layer (0 – 0.5 cm), ranging from 0.10 – 9.8% and 0.078 – 2.4% for asphalt and concrete cores, respectively. Asphalt exhibited a higher release rate than concrete, demonstrated by the higher total release coefficient of PFAS (4 – 16 m−2) compared to that of concrete cores (1 – 5 m−2). These results suggested that, similar to concrete, AFFF-impacted asphalt may be a secondary source of PFAS to the environment.


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