A survey on contamination profiles of eighteen perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) was performed via high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for surface water and sediments from five typical rivers of the Pearl River Delta region, South China in summer and winter in 2012. The total concentrations of the PFASs in the water phase of the five rivers ranged from 0.14 to 346.72ngL-1. The PFAS concentrations in the water phase were correlated positively to some selected water quality parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) (0.7913) and conductivity (0.5642). The monitoring results for the water samples showed significant seasonal variations, while those for the sediment samples showed no obvious seasonal variations. Among the selected 18 PFASs, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) was the dominant PFAS compound both in water and sediment for two seasons with its maximum concentration of 320.5ngL-1 in water and 11.4ngg-1 dry weight (dw) in sediment, followed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) with its maximum concentration of 26.48ngL-1 in water and 0.99ngg-1 dw in sediment. PFOS and PFOA were found at relatively higher concentrations in the Shima River and Danshui River than in the other three rivers (Xizhijiang River, Dongjiang River and Shahe River). The principal component analysis for the PFASs concentrations in water and sediment separated the sampling sites into two groups: rural and agricultural area, and urban and industrial area, suggesting the PFASs in the riverine environment were mainly originated from industrial and urban activities in the region.
- Dongjiang River
- Perfluorinated compounds