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Neutral Poly/Per-Fluoroalkyl Substances in Air from the Atlantic to the Southern Ocean and in Antarctic Snow

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journal contribution
posted on 07.07.2015, 00:00 by Zhen Wang, Zhiyong Xie, Wenying Mi, Axel Möller, Hendrik Wolschke, Ralf Ebinghaus
The oceanic scale occurrences of typical neutral poly/per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the atmosphere across the Atlantic, as well as their air-snow exchange at the Antarctic Peninsula, were investigated. Total concentrations of the 12 PFASs (∑PFASs) in gas phase ranged from 2.8 to 68.8 pg m–3 (mean: 23.5 pg m–3), and the levels in snow were from 125 to 303 pg L–1 (mean: 209 pg L–1). Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) were dominant in both air and snow. The differences of specific compounds to ∑PFASs were not significant between air and snow. ∑PFASs were higher above the northern Atlantic compared to the southern Atlantic, and the levels above the southern Atlantic <30°S was the lowest. High atmospheric PFAS levels around the Antarctic Peninsula were the results of a combination of air mass, weak elimination processes and air-snow exchange of PFASs. Higher ratios of 8:2 to 10:2 to 6:2 FTOH were observed in the southern hemisphere, especially around the Antarctic Peninsula, suggesting that PFASs in the region were mainly from the long-range atmospheric transport. No obvious decrease of PFASs was observed in the background marine atmosphere after 2005.

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