Biodegradation of Fluorinated Alkyl Substances

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Abstract

The interest in the fate of fluorinated chemicals in the environment emerged in the 1980s–1990s, when chlorofluorocarbons were banned due to their extreme potential for destroying the ozone layer (Molina and Rowland 1974; Rowland 2002). More recent concerns connected with fluorinated chemicals have arisen within the last decade when the perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluorinated alkane sulfonates (PFASs) were found to be environmentally ubiquitous (Giesy and Kannan 2001; Hansen et al. 2001). Indeed, the presence of these chemicals in human blood serum had been surmised in the 1960s (Taves 1968), but at that time, analytical methods were not yet capable of identifying these compounds.