• Wastewater;
  • Solid-phase extraction;
  • Perfluorinated alkyl compounds;
  • Perfluoroctane sulfonate;
  • Asia


Concentrations of perfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFAs), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexanesulfonate, perfluorobutanesulfonate, perfluorooctanesulfonamide, perfluorodecanoate, perfluorononanoic acid, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluoroheptanoate, and perfluorohexanoate, were measured in the streams of the Shihwa and Banweol industrial areas on the west coast of South Korea as well as the adjacent Lake Shihwa (an artificial lake) and Gyeonggi Bay. Perfluorinated alkyl compounds were concentrated from water using solid-phase extraction and were identified and quantified by liquid chromatography/triple-quadrapole tandem mass spectrometry. Of the PFAs measured, PFOS and PFOA occurred at the greatest concentrations. Concentrations of PFOS ranged from 2.24 to 651 ng/L, and concentrations of PFOA ranged from 0.9 to 62 ng/L. The concentrations of PFOS observed in Lake Shihwa were among the greatest ever measured in the environment. These results suggest local industrial sources of PFOS and PFOA as well as other PFAs. Because of dilution, the greatest concentrations occur in a rather restricted area, near the points of discharge of the streams that empty into the lake. The greatest measured concentration of PFOS exceeded the threshold for effects predicted for predatory birds consuming aquatic organisms continuously exposed to this level.