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Numerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are of growing concern worldwide due to their ubiquitous presence, bioaccumulation and adverse effects. Surface waters in the United States have displayed elevated concentrations of PFAS, but so far discrete water sampling has been the commonly applied sampling approach. In the present study we field-tested a novel integrative passive sampler, a microporous polyethylene tube, and derived sampling rates (Rs) for nine PFAS in surface waters. Three sampling campaigns were conducted, deploying polyethylene tube passive samplers in the effluent of two wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents and across Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island, USA) for 1 month each in 2017 and 2018. Passive samplers exhibited linear uptake of PFAS in the WWTP effluents over 16–29 days, with in situ Rs for nine PFAS ranging from 10 ml day−1 (perfluoropentanoic acid) to 29 ml day−1 (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). Similar sampling rates of 19 ± 4.8 ml day−1 were observed in estuarine field deployments. Applying these Rs values in a different WWTP effluent predicted dissolved PFAS concentrations mostly within 50% of their observations in daily composite water samples, except for perfluorobutanoic acid (where predictions from passive samplers were 3 times greater than measured values), perfluorononanoic acid (1.9 times), perfluorodecanoic acid (1.7 times), and perfluoropentanesulfonic acid (0.1 times). These results highlight the potential use of passive samplers as measurement and assessment tools of PFAS in dynamic aquatic environments.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry





CLG Figure 1.pdf (177 kB)
Figure 1

CLG MS Supporting Info May16.docx (2450 kB)
Supporting Info

CLG Table 1 May'22.docx (16 kB)
Table 1

CLG Table 2.docx (15 kB)
Table 2

Figure 2 June'5.pdf (137 kB)
Figure 2

Figure 3 June'22.pdf (121 kB)
Figure 3

Figure 4 June'22.pdf (79 kB)