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PFAS in the Environment
The current article reviews the state of art of the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) compounds and provides an overview of PFASs occurrence in the environment, wildlife, and humans. This study reviews the issues concerning PFASs exposure and potential risks generated with a focus on PFAS occurrence and transformation in various media, discusses their physicochemical characterization and treatment technologies, before discussing the potential human exposure routes. The various toxicological impacts to human health are also discussed. The article pays particular attention to the complexity and challenging issue of regulating PFAS compounds due to the arising uncertainty and lack of epidemiological evidence encountered. The variation in PFAS regulatory values across the globe can be easily addressed due to the influence of multiple scientific, technical, and social factors. The varied toxicology and the insufficient definition of PFAS exposure rate are among the main factors contributing to this discrepancy. The lack of proven standard approaches for examining PFAS in surface water, groundwater, wastewater, or solids adds more technical complexity. Although it is agreed that PFASs pose potential health risks in various media, the link between the extent of PFAS exposure and the significance of PFAS risk remain among the evolving research areas. There is a growing need to address the correlation between the frequency and the likelihood of human exposure to PFAS and the possible health risks encountered. The current entry highlighted the significance of the future research required to fill in the knowledge gap in PFAS toxicology and to better understand this through real field data and long-term monitoring programs.
Widespread surface and groundwater contamination with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has become of great concern in the last few years. PFAS was first realized in the globe through the identification of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, C8F17SO3H (PFOS), in wildlife . PFASs have recently received increasing global attention because of their persistence and toxicity in the environment, bioaccumulation potential, and possible adverse health impacts . PFAS are commonly have an aliphatic carbon composition in which hydrogen molecules have been replaced by fluorine completely (prefix: per-) or partially (prefix: poly-) . These compounds are characterized by their highly polar and strong carbon fluorine bonds . They are considered as highly fluorinated surfactants that have been applied in numerous industrial applications and manufactured goods including food packaging, firefighting foams, clothes and protective coatings for fabrics and carpets, electronics and fluoropolymer manufacturing . The most extensively produced and frequently detected PFASs in the environments are perfluorooctanoic acid, C7F15COOH (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, C8F17SO3H (PFOS) . PFASs have been discovered in different environmental compartments, including water, sediment organisms, and air .
PFAS has been a serious concern to industry, governments scientists, and even to the public worldwide . It has been detected in various aquatic matrixes, including rain, snow, groundwater, tap water, lakes, and rivers with the C8-based substances PFOS and PFOA typically being the dominating compounds . PFAS degradation products can be freely mobile in water, soil, and air, and can be extremely resistant to breakdown by different processes. The complexity of measuring PFAS in various media, and the associated unknown risks are among the challenges facing the current regulatory bodies . Typical concentrations of PFASs in water are very low, however, higher concentrations of (mg/L) have been observed in surface and groundwater after firefighting activities closed to fluorochemical manufacturing facilities. PFASs spread worldwide has triggered the governmental concern towards regulating the exposure and spread of PFASs . Although there is enough evidence about the negative impacts of PFAS on human and animal health, the scale of the risk imposed by PFAS compounds is not fully understood. The current regulations tend to address the potential risk limit for various wildlife where the PFASs persistence, bioaccumulation potential, and toxicity (PBT) raise a great concern . Several studies have reviewed various aspects related to PFASs fate and behavior in different environments. They also reviewed the sources and occurrence of PFOA in drinking water, toxicokinetic, and health impacts . Other reviews on PFASs have discussed different aspects such as environmental biodegradation of PFASs, PFASs removal from drinking water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants and PFASs transformation in landfills . The authors are aware of the developing research concerning PFAS and the many reviews investigating the PFAS human exposure, fate, transport, accumulation, health hazard and guidelines . The current mini review investigates the PFAS occurrence in collective all geo-environmental compartments and is the first to collate the various international PFAS standards in one article. The current study reviews existing publications in the field of PFAS and aims to: (i) summarize the recent publication in the field of PFAS and ensure easy access of the research on the occurrence and behavior of PFASs in various environments, (ii) to identify knowledge gaps in the PFAS field, particularly the discrepancies in the current prevailing legislation and practices across various countries, and (iii) to present the key future research directions to better address the PFAS issue.
2. PFASs Occurrence and Transformation
3.1. PFAS in Environment
2.1.1. PFASs in Water
2.1.2. PFASs in Soil
The entry is from 10.3390/w12123590
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