Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

PFAS river export analysis highlights urgent need for catchment-scale mass loading data

Byrne, P, Mayes, WM, James, AL, Comber, S, Biles, E, Riley, A and Runkel, RL (2024) PFAS river export analysis highlights urgent need for catchment-scale mass loading data. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 11 (3). pp. 266-272.

byrne-et-al-2024-pfas-river-export-analysis-highlights-the-urgent-need-for-catchment-scale-mass-loading-data.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Source apportionment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) requires an understanding of the mass loading of these compounds in river basins. However, there is a lack of temporally variable and catchment-scale mass loading data, meaning identification and prioritization of sources of PFAS to rivers for management interventions can be difficult. Here, we analyze PFAS concentrations and loads in the River Mersey to provide the first temporally robust estimates of PFAS export for a European river system and the first estimates of the contribution of wastewater treatment works (WwTWs) to total river PFAS export. We estimate an annual PFAS export of 68.1 kg for the River Mersey and report that the yield of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the catchment is among the highest recorded globally. Analysis of river and WwTW loads indicates approximately one-third of PFOA emitted from WwTWs is potentially stored in the catchment and approximately half of PFOS transported by the River Mersey may not originate from WwTWs. As governments move toward regulation of PFAS in WwTW effluents, our findings highlight the complexity of PFAS source apportionment and the need for catchment-scale mass loading data. This study indicates that strategies for reducing PFAS loading that focus solely on WwTW effluents may not achieve river water quality targets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0502 Environmental Science and Management; 0907 Environmental Engineering; 1002 Environmental Biotechnology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: American Chemical Society
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 13:31
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2024 13:31
DOI or ID number: 10.1021/acs.estlett.4c00017
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22848
View Item View Item