There is increasing concern over the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in biosolids, while sales in commercially available biosolid-based products used as soil amendments are also increasing. Here, the occurrence of 17 perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) present in 13 commercially available biosolid-based products, six organic composts (manure, mushroom, peat, and untreated wood), and one food and yard waste compost were studied. The PFAA concentration ranges observed are as follows: biosolid-based products (9.0-199 μg/kg) > food and yard waste (18.5 μg/kg) > other organic products (0.1-1.1 μg/kg). Analysis of 2014, 2016, and 2018 bags produced from one product line showed a temporal decrease in the total PFAAs (181, 101, and 74 μg/kg, respectively). The total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay revealed the presence of PFAA precursors in the biosolid-based products at much higher levels, when the soluble carbon was removed by the ENVI-Carb clean-up prior to the TOP assay. Time-of-flight mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of three sulfonamides, two fluorotelomer sulfonates, and several polyfluoroalkyl phosphate diesters. Pore-water concentrations of water-saturated products were primarily of short-chain PFAAs and increased with increasing PFAA concentrations in the products. A strong positive log-linear correlation between organic carbon (OC)-normalized PFAA partition coefficients and the number of CFn units indicates that OC is a good predictor of PFAA release concentrations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry