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Target and nontarget screening of PFAS in biosolids, composts, and other organic waste products for land application in France

Munoz G., Michaud A.M., Liu M., Duy S.V., Montenach D., Resseguier C., Watteau F., Sappin Didier V., Feder F., Morvan T., Houot S., Desrosiers M., Liu J., Sauvé S.. 2021. Environmental Science and Technology : 71 p..

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c03697

Zwitterionic, cationic, and anionic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are increasingly reported in terrestrial and aquatic environments, but their inputs to agricultural lands are not fully understood. Here, we characterized PFAS in 47 organic waste products (OWP) applied in agricultural fields of France, including historical and recent materials. Overall, 160 PFAS from 42 classes were detected from target screening and homologue-based nontarget screening. Target PFAS were low in agriculture-derived wastes such as pig slurry, poultry manure, or dairy cattle manure (median ¿46PFAS: 0.66 µg/kg dry matter). Higher PFAS levels were reported in urban and industrial wastes, paper mill sludge, sewage sludge, or residual household waste composts (median ¿46PFAS: 220 µg/kg). Historical municipal biosolids and composts (1976¿1998) were dominated by perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), N-ethyl perfluorooctanesulfonamido acetic acid (EtFOSAA), and cationic and zwitterionic electrochemical fluorination precursors to PFOS. Contemporaneous urban OWP (2009¿2017) were rather dominated by zwitterionic fluorotelomers, which represented on average 55% of ¿160PFAS (max: 97%). The fluorotelomer sulfonamidopropyl betaines (X:2 FTSA-PrB, median: 110 µg/kg, max: 1300 µg/kg) were the emerging class with the highest occurrence and prevalence in contemporary urban OWP. They were also detected as early as 1985. The study informs for the first time that urban sludges and composts can be a significant repository of zwitterionic and cationic PFAS.

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