Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9311–9320 | Cite as

Risk exposure assessment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in drinking water and atmosphere in central eastern China

  • Zhibo Lu
  • Rong Lu
  • Hongyuan Zheng
  • Jing Yan
  • Luning Song
  • Juan Wang
  • Haizhen Yang
  • Minghong Cai
Research Article


We examined per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in air from eight cities, and in water from six drinking-water treatment plants (DWTPs), in central eastern China. We analyzed raw and treated water samples from the DWTPs for 17 ionic PFASs with high-performance liquid chromatography/negative-electrospray-ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/(–)ESI-MS/MS), and analyzed the gas and particle phases of atmospheric samples for 12 neutral PFASs by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) were the dominant compounds in drinking water, and fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) dominated in atmospheric samples. Of all the compounds in the treated water samples, the concentration of PFOA, at 51.0 ng L−1, was the highest. Conventional treatments such as coagulation (COA), flocculation (FOC), sedimentation (SED), and sand filtration (SAF) did not remove PFASs. Advanced treatments, however, including ultrafiltration (UF) and activated carbon (AC), removed the majority of PFASs except for shorter-chain PFASs such as perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and perfluoropentanoic acid (PFPA). We also investigated human exposure to PFASs via drinking water and the atmosphere and found that the mean daily intake of PFASs was 0.43 ng kg−1 day−1.


PFASs Atmosphere DWTPs Central eastern China Advanced treatments Risk assessment 


Funding information

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41406213, 41376189, 41776202) and the Chinese Polar Environment Comprehensive Investigation and Assessment Program (Grant No. CHINARE2016-02-01).

Supplementary material

11356_2017_950_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1195 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017
corrected publication March/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhibo Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rong Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hongyuan Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jing Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luning Song
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haizhen Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Minghong Cai
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory on Pollution Control and Resource ReuseTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.SOA Key Laboratory for Polar SciencePolar Research Institute of ChinaShanghaiChina

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