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Release of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) from Carpet and Clothing in Model Anaerobic Landfill Reactors

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journal contribution
posted on 20.04.2016, 00:00 by Johnsie R. Lang, B. McKay Allred, Graham F. Peaslee, Jennifer A. Field, Morton A. Barlaz
Discarded carpet and clothing are potential sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in landfill leachate, but little is known about their release when disposed in landfills. The concentrations of 70 PFASs in the aqueous phase of anaerobic model landfill reactors filled with carpet or clothing were monitored under biologically active and abiotic conditions. For carpet, total PFAS release was greater in live than abiotic reactors, with an average of 8.5 nmol/L and 0.62 nmol/L after 552 days, respectively. Release in live carpet reactors was primarily due to 5:3 fluorotelomer carboxylic acid (FTCA – 3.9 nmol/L) and perfluorohexanoic carboxylic acid (PFHxA – 2.9 nmol/L). For clothing, release was more dependent on sample heterogeneity than the presence of biological activity, with 0.63, 21.7, 2.6, and 6.3 nmol/L for two live and two abiotic reactors after 519 days, respectively. Release in the clothing reactors was largely due to perfluorooctatonic carboxylic acid (PFOA), with low relative concentrations of measured biotransformation precursors (FTCAs). For carpet and clothing reactors, the majority of PFAS release was not measured until after day 100. Results demonstrate that carpet and clothing are likely sources of PFASs in landfill leachate.

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