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Biogeochemical dynamics of perfluorinated alkyl acids and sulfonates in the River Seine (Paris, France) under contrasting hydrological conditions

Labadie, Pierre, Chevreuil, Marc
Environmental pollution 2011 v.159 no.12 pp. 3634-3639
acids, correlation, mass flow, perfluorocarbons, rivers, sulfonates, suspended sediment, urbanization, France
The biogeochemical dynamics of 15 perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) were investigated in a heavily urbanised river (River Seine, Paris, France). The target compounds included C4-C10 sulfonates and C5-C14 acids; eleven PFCs were detected and ∑PFCs ranged between 31 and 91 ng L⁻¹ (median: 47 ng L⁻¹). The molecular pattern was dominated by the perfluoroalkyl sulfonates PFHxS and PFOS (>54% of ∑PFCs), which were the only PFCs quantified in both the dissolved and particulate phases. For these PFCs, the sorbed fraction positively correlated with suspended sediment levels. Total PFC levels negatively correlated with river flow rate, which varied between 150 and 640 m³ s⁻¹. This suggests the predominance of point sources (likely WWTP effluent discharge), but a contribution of non-point sources such as combined sewer overflow could not be excluded. The annual PFC mass flow was estimated at 500 kg, which is less than observed for other large European rivers.