Evidence of Air Dispersion: HFPO-DA and PFOA in Ohio and West Virginia Surface Water and Soil near a Fluoropolymer Production Facility

By Jason E Galloway, Anjelica V P Moreno, Andrew B Lindstrom, Mark J Strynar, Seth Newton, Andrew A May, and Linda K Weavers
Environ. Sci. Technol.
June 2, 2020
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b07384

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was used as a fluoropolymer manufacturing aid at a fluoropolymer production facility in Parkersburg, WV from 1951 to 2013. The manufacturer introduced a replacement surfactant hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA) that has been in use at this site since 2013. Historical releases of PFOA and related epidemiological work in this area has been primarily focused on communities downstream. To provide an update on the ongoing impacts from this plant, 94 surface water samples and 13 soil samples were collected mainly upstream and downwind of this facility. PFOA was detected in every surface water sample with concentrations exceeding 1000 ng/L at 13 sample sites within an 8 km radius of the plant. HFPO-DA was also found to be widespread with the highest levels (>100 ng/L) found in surface water up to 6.4 km north of the plant. One sample site, 28 km north of the plant, had PFOA at 143 ng/L and HFPO-DA at 42 ng/L. Sites adjacent to landfills containing fluorochemical waste had PFOA concentrations ranging up to >1000 ng/L. These data indicate that downwind atmospheric transport of both compounds has occurred and that the boundaries of the impact zone have yet to be fully delineated.

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