Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the Ugandan waters of Lake Victoria: Spatial distribution, catchment release and public exposure risk via municipal water consumption

By Kenneth Arinaitwe, Nils Keltsch, Anthony Taabu-Munyaho, Thorsten Reemtsma, and Urs Berger
Sci Total Environ
April 27, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146970

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have scarcely been studied in the Lake Victoria Basin and Africa in general. We investigated spatial profiles of PFASs in the Ugandan part of Lake Victoria, their influxes and human exposure via drinking water. We analyzed open lake water, riverine water (Rivers Kagera and Sio), urban drainage water (Nakivubo Channel), over-lake bulk atmospheric deposition and municipal tap water (Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe). The average concentrations (ng/L) for individual target PFASs were in the ranges of 0.08-23.8 (Nakivubo Channel), 0.01-10.8 (Murchison Bay), R. Kagera, >R. Sio > Nakivubo Channel. Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) had the highest influx and retention estimates, respectively. Perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs) were mostly associated with urban drainage samples. PFASs were likely recycled from the Nakivubo Channel, through the Murchison Bay, into municipal drinking water. The estimated human exposure to ∑PFASs via drinking water indicated low risk of adverse health effects.

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