Bradley Grams - Measuring for Perfluorinated Chemicals in Land-Applied Biosolids and Plants.

Document created by Bradley Grams on Aug 22, 2014
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  EPA Office of Research and Development, PFAA Days III, June 8-10,   2010.


  Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) consist of a diverse group of   compounds characterized by their unique chemical-physical   properties. Because of their widespread use in industrial and   consumer applications, PFCs eventually reach wastewater treatment   plants (WWTPs) through industrial discharge, wastewaters   generated by the cleaning of PFC-treated products, leaching of   plastic products and indirect nonpoint sources. As such, WWTPs   may be a major route of PFCs to the environment since   conventional WWTPs have proven to be ineffective in removing   PFCs, and under certain processes can increase concentrations.   With respect to possible modes of human exposure and risk,   several studies have shown significant concentrations of PFCs in   generated WWTP sludge (biosolids). As such, there is concern for   land application of biosolids since this commonly used waste   disposal practice could present direct exposure routes through   consumption of foods and crops. This concern has been highlighted   recently by a contamination event in Decatur, Alabama, where   elevated levels of PFCs were found and traced back to treated   municipal biosolids that was applied to 4900 acres of rural land   used for grazing cattle and crops. Although crops fertilized with   PFC-containing biosolids may be an important exposure route to   humans, few studies have attempted to estimate the transfer   potential of PFCs from soil to plant.
  As little data exist regarding the levels of PFCs in soils after   land application or plant uptake resulting from this practice,   our study is designed to examine whether detectable levels of   PFCs are found in soil and plants of areas where biosolids had   been land applied as fertilizer generated from mixed industrial   and domestic waste facilities. In addition, we will conduct a   controlled study in the field to assess the uptake of PFC in a   variety of plants grown in contaminated biosolids.

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