An Inclusive Investigation of PFAS Contamination amongst Water Facilities
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AuthorNazzal, Khalid K.
Readers/AdvisorsEckenberg, Monika L.
Term and YearSpring 2021
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAround the 1940s, a synthetic group of molecules classified as Per & Poly fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) were introduced into the environment. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), PFAS had been used to make fluoropolymer coatings. PFAS is also used in other products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. The beneficial uses for PFAS amongst numerous products allowed these groups of chemicals to persist in the environment due to their high level of resistance to biodegradation. The attractive features of PFAS originated from its use as surfactants due to its natural water repellant, oil repellant, temperature resistance, and friction reduction qualities within various consumer products. These PFAS qualities were abundantly used in consumer products which include food packaging, coating for textiles, cooking ware, firefighting foams, stain repellants, paper products, and other consumer products. The CDC has also reported that approximately 95% of the global population has been exposed to various forms of PFAS contamination. The sites of PFASs exposures result in the ubiquitous nature amongst the ecosystem. This review study examined data sets that examined results of twenty PFASs which were either detected amongst the biota or serum of the population. The chemical and physical properties of PFAS provide the fundamental knowledge to distinguish between the hazardous, and non-hazardous sets. Studies regarding classes of PFAS provide a breakdown of these substances into non-polymer and polymer criteria. Non- polymer forms of PFAS have been implicated to be the most detected, and hazardous form amongst the population and biota, while polymers forms of PFAS propose less of a hazard risk. The analytical apparatus which is capable of detecting PFAS amongst aqueous solution is known to be Liquid Chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The PFASs detection levels amongst the U.S have been bio-monitored by analysts, scientists, and medical professionals for the past five decades in hopes to reduce exposure. Furthermore, the tracing of PFASs was able to be traced back to their source of emission. The elevated emission levels for PFAS have been reported to originate from airports, military training sites, industrial sites, drinking water treatment plants, and fire training sites. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are two types of PFAS that have gained attention over the past three decades due to the increasing levels of detection amongst tap water and its association with various disease forms. A substitution for PFOS and PFOA was founded by DuPont industries which introduced GenX as a less toxic substitute for PFOA. Growing concerns for Gen-X exposure suggest similar toxicity outcomes which were found for PFOA. However, there has been no regulation set for the U.S which stops the emission of GenX into the environment, which should be a cause for concern.