Accumulation of per- und polyfluoroalkyl substances in the environment – Analysis of samples from the German environmental specimen bank
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a generic term for thousands of different chemicals containing the perfluoroalkyl-moiety -CF2-. Most of these PFASs can potentially be transformed to the extremely persistent perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). Commonly used environmental monitoring methods only analyze about 20 PFAAs. Thus, it is so far unknown, how many and which potential PFAA precursors occur in our environment. This will be investigated within FLUORBANK, a project funded by the German Environment Agency (FKZ 3718 64 423 0) using samples from the German environmental specimen bank. The following questions will be answered:
- What is the magnitude of contamination of different environmental compartments with precursor substances that could potentially be transformed to persistent PFAAs?
- What is the magnitude of contamination of different environmental compartments with short chain PFASs with a potential to break through into drinking water resources?
- What is the magnitude of contamination of different environmental compartments with recently introduced replacement substances for long chain PFAAs?
- To what extent are all the individual substances analyzed in FLUORBANK able to explain the overall formation potential of PFAAs in different environmental compartments?