Alternate Title

Survey of two perfluorinated organic compounds (PFOA and PFHxA) in water and biota surrounding a polyfluorinated chemical plant

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Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) concentrations were measured in water and biota samples collected within and near a polyfluorinated chemical plant in coastal Mississippi. Effluents from the site and from the local public water treatment plant were sampled along with municipal water supplies, shallow groundwater beneath the site, nearby surface waters, and local biota. Highest concentrations were from stormwater ([PFOA] = 85—530 ng/l; PFHxA = 140—590 ng/l) and shallow groundwaters ([PFOA] = 44—1000 ng/l; PFHxA = 210—3100 ng/l) collected at the site. The local public water treatment effluent also had relatively high PFHxA concentrations (310—590 ng/l). Intermediate PFOA concentrations were measured in effluent samples (21—33 ng/l) and irrigation water from a public works facility (15—48 ng/l). Drinking water and all surface waters had low PFOA and PFHxA concentrations (PFOA = 1.1—3.0 ng/l; PFHxA < 1.4 ng/l). Tissues from local fish and blue crab had undetectable PFOA and PFHxA concentrations. Results suggest that evaporation and subsequent percolation of contaminated stormwater into the shallow aquifer is the major pathway for perfluorinated contaminants to escape from this site.

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