Prevalence of Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Drinking and Source Water From Two Asian Countries

By Mary Grace E Guardian, Edison G Boongaling, Valeree Ross R Bernardo-Boongaling, Jirasak Gamonchuang, Tittaya Boontongto, Rodjana Burakham, Prapha Arnnok, and Diana S Aga
June 2, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127115

The present study focuses on the determination of the occurrence and levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the drinking and source water from the Philippines and Thailand. A total of 46 samples (18 commercial bottled waters, 5 drinking water from vending machine (re-fill stations) and 23 source water) were analyzed using liquid chromatography with tandem high-resolution mass spectrometry. Using the targeted method, 12 different PFASs were detected in the drinking water samples with total quantifiable PFASs (∑PFASs) levels ranging from 7.16 to 59.49 ng/L; 15 PFASs were detected in source water with ∑PFASs ranging from 15.55 to 65.65 ng/L. A 100% detection frequency was observed for perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorosulfonic acid (PFOS) in all water samples. Six other PFASs, not included in the targeted analysis, were detected using the suspect screening approach. For the first time, the presence of 2-(N-methylperfluorooctanesulfonamido) acetic acid (N-MeFOSAA) in drinking water is reported, and 3 novel PFASs (C5H5OF8, C6H4O2F6, and C9H2O2F16) were detected using suspect screening in source water. Combined results from target and suspect screening analysis showed that PFASs detected were predominantly (52%) short-chain (with fluorinated alkyl chain of ≤6) which could be explained by their high mobility in the environment. The detected PFASs levels in drinking water will not likely pose immediate health risk to consumers according to US EPA health advisory for PFOS and PFOA of 70 ng/L, but inclusion of bottled and drinking water from re-fill stations in monitoring programs is warranted.

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