The occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in fluoropolymer raw materials and products made in China

By Lingyi Meng, Boyu Song, Yao Lu, Kun Lv, Wei Gao, Yawei Wang, and Guibin Jiang
J Environ Sci (China)
August 25, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.jes.2021.01.027

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts, and related compounds were listed as new persistent organic pollutants by the Stockholm Convention in 2019. In this study, the occurrence of residues of PFOA and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in raw materials and fluoropolymer products from the Chinese fluoropolymer industries are reported for the first time. The PFOA concentrations in raw materials and fluoropolymer products were in the range of 6.7 to 1.1 × 106 ng/g, and <MDL (method detection limit) to 5.3 × 103 ng/g, respectively. Generally, the levels of PFOA in raw materials were higher than in products, implying that PFOA in the emulsion/dispersion resin could be partly removed during the polymerization or post-processing steps. By tracking a company's polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) production line, it was found that over a 5 year period, the residual levels of PFOA in emulsion samples declined from 1.1 × 106 to 28.4 ng/g, indicating that the contamination of PFOA in fluoropolymer products from production source gradually decreased after its use had been discontinued. High concentrations of HFPO-TrA (2.7 × 105 to 8.2 × 105 ng/g) were detected in some emulsion samples indicating this alternative has been widely applied in fluoropolymer manufacturing in China.


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