Occurrence of perfluorinated compounds in agricultural environment, vegetables, and fruits in regions influenced by a fluorine-chemical industrial park in China

By Pengyang Li, Xihui Oyang, Yule Zhao, Tianqi Tu, Xiujun Tian, Ling Li, Yuan Zhao, Jiuyi Li, and Zhiyong Xiao
March 15, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.03.045

The occurrence of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in vegetables and fruits, as well as agricultural environment, was investigated in the downstream regions of Changshu fluorine-chemical industrial park (CFCIP) in China. Twenty-one PFCs were analyzed in irrigation water, agricultural soil, typical vegetables, and fruits, with the maximum total PFC concentrations of 369.9 ng/L, 64.7 ng/g dw, 11.5 ng/g ww, and 10.5 ng/g ww, respectively. Short-chained perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), and perfluorohexanoic acid were the dominant PFCs in terms of their concentrations and detection frequency. PFCs in irrigation water and agricultural soils showed a decreasing trend with increasing distance from CFCIP, while this pattern was not observed in agricultural products. The predominant compounds varied in different vegetables and fruits. Simultaneous bioaccumulation of PFBA and PFOA was found in melons and solanaceous species and pears. Leafy vegetables and grapes exhibited high bioaccumulation of PFOA and PFBA, respectively. Health risk assessment by calculating estimated daily intake showed that no direct risk was caused by the consumption of vegetables and fruits for the residents in the investigated regions. However, the tolerable weekly intake of PFOA exceeded the established thresholds for the adult residents. A comprehensive health assessment of the dietary exposure of PFCs, including all exposure pathways, in fluorine-chemical industrial park-impacted regions is needed.

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