Novel and legacy per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a farmland environment: Soil distribution and biomonitoring with plant leaves and locusts

By Zhonghui Lan, Yiming Yao, JiaYao Xu, Hao Chen, Chao Ren, Xiangguang Fang, Kai Zhang, Litao Jin, Xia Hua, Alfredo C. Alder, Fengchang Wu, and Hongwen Sun
Environ. Poll.
April 7, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114487

The occurrence of legacy and novel per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in multiple matrices from a farmland environment was investigated in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei core area of northern China. PFASs were ubiquitously detected in farmland soils, and the detection frequency of 6:2 chlorinated polyfluoroalkyl ether sulfonic acid (6:2 Cl-PFESA) was higher than that of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (98% vs. 83%). Long-chain PFASs, including 6:2 Cl-PFESA, showed a centered distribution pattern around the metropolis of Tianjin, probably due to the local intensive industrial activity, while trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) showed a decreasing trend from the coast to the inland area. Other than soil, TFA was also found at higher levels than other longer-chain PFASs in dust, maize (Zea mays), poplar (Populus alba) leaf and locust (Locusta migratoria manilens) samples. Both poplar leaves and locusts can be used as promising biomonitoring targets for PFASs in farmland environments, and their accumulation potential corresponds with protein and lipid contents. Apart from being exposed to PFASs via food intake, locusts were likely exposed via uptake from soil and precipitated dust in farmland environments. The biomonitoring of locusts may be more relevant to insectivores, which is important to conducting a comprehensive ecological risk assessment of farmland environments.

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