Poly- and Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances in Air and Water from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

By Maya E Morales-McDevitt, Matthew Dunn, Ahsan Habib, Simon Vojta, Jitka Becanova, and Rainer Lohmann
Environ Toxicol Chem
November 30, 2021
DOI: 10.1002/etc.5255

Bangladesh hosts extensive textile manufacturing, for some of which per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) have been used to impart water and dirt repellency, among others. Textile waste emissions to the atmosphere and discharge into rivers and other bodies of water could present a significant concern for human and ecosystem health, but there is little information on PFAS in Bangladesh. To assess the presence of ionic PFAS and their precursors in air and water from Dhaka, Bangladesh, polyethylene (PE) sheets were deployed for 28 days as passive samplers for neutral PFAS in outdoor air and water, while ionic PFAS were measured from discrete water grabs. Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) were detected almost all sites in air and water; the most frequently detected compound was 6:2 FTOH ranging from below instrumental detection limits (<IDL) to 70 ng m-3 in air, and from <IDL to- 19 ng L-1 in water. Of the ionic PFAS, perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) dominated in frequency of detection and magnitude with concentration ranging from 1.8 - 19.0 ng L-1 in surface waters. The prevalence of 6:2 FTOH and PFBA across sites probably reflect their use in textile manufacturing and could indicate the industry’s switch to shorter chain PFAS alternatives.

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