Tag Archives: organic contaminants

Status of PFOA and PFOS regulation in drinking water

In February 2020, EPA announced that it is proposing to regulate both PFOA and PFOS under the SDWA—a critical step as the agency continues its efforts to protect drinking water and public health nationwide. This preliminary determination is a step toward providing state and local communities with key information about PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. In the proposal, EPA is also asking for information and data on other PFAS substances, as well as seeking comment on potential monitoring requirements and regulatory approaches EPA is considering for PFAS chemicals. If the positive regulatory determination is finalized, the agency would begin the process to establish a national primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS.” click here

PFOA cleanup coming to Petersburgh, NY

“Facing a March 16 deadline, the town board voted unanimously Monday to approve an agreement in which two companies – the Taconic Plastics manufacturing plant and Covanta waste disposal firm – will pay a total of $500,000 toward cleanup of a PFOA-contaminated landfill that has sat unattended for more than two decades.” click here

PFOA/PFOS emerges as an election issue

In an election year political statements raising ‘hot button’ environmental issues like PFOA and PFOS are to be expected (e.g. click here). Ms. Dingell’s characterization of PFOA and PFOS are not based on science or even a proper understanding of environmental law.

The article below presents the only publicly available, independent peer-reviewed published paper examining the full implications of regulating of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

F.W. Pontius. Regulation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and
Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) in Drinking
Water: A Comprehensive Review. Water 2019, 11, 2003; doi:10.3390/w11102003

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are receiving global attention due to their persistence in the environment through wastewater effluent discharges and past improper industrial waste disposal. They are resistant to biological degradation and if present in wastewater are discharged into the environment. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued drinking water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS at 70 ng/L each and for the sum of the two. The need for an enforceable primary drinking water regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is currently being assessed. The USEPA faces stringent legal constraints and technical barriers to develop a primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS. This review synthesizes current knowledge providing a publicly available, comprehensive point of reference for researchers, water utilities, industry, and regulatory agencies to better understand and address cross-cutting issues associated with regulation of PFOA and PFOS  contamination of drinking water.

Organophosphorus flame retardants in drinking water, Nanjing, China

Liu X, Xiong L, Li D, Chen C, Cao Q. Monitoring and exposure assessment of organophosphorus flame retardants in source and drinking water, Nanjing, China. Environ Monit Assess. 2019 Jan 31;191(2):119. doi: 10.1007/s10661-019-7239-0.

This study developed a new method to determine the residues of 13 organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) in drinking water by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) technique and investigated the chemical distribution in water samples from municipal plants along the Yangtze River in Nanjing. The linear calibration correlation coefficients R2 for all 13 OPFRs were at least 0.998 0. Three levels of spiked test were performed. Most of the recoveries were in the range of 80~120%, and the relative standard deviations (RSDs) for the 13 OPFRs were 2.1~17% (n = 6). Five OPFRs were 100% positively detected in the samples, and 3 OPFRs were positively detected in some samples. The concentrations of detected OPFR in the water ranged from 0.7 to 5780.0 ng L-1. The average concentrations of OPFRs in wet season were higher than those in dry season, and the contaminants mainly originated from the source water in the Yangtze River. The exposure assessments of individual and total OPFRs were investigated. The estimated daily intakes of total OPFRs via ingestion of drinking water reached up to 64.8 and 45.2 ng/kg bw/day in dry and wet season, respectively. This study demonstrates a profile of OPFR distribution in Nanjing municipal water and provides information on human exposure assessment via drinking water in the Nanjing District, China.

A comparison of management strategies for trace organic chemicals in water

Bieber S, Snyder SA, Dagnino S, Rauch-Williams T, Drewes JE. Management strategies for trace organic chemicals in water – A review of international approaches. Chemosphere. 2017 Dec 16;195:410-426. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.12.100.

To ensure an appropriate management of potential health risks and uncertainties from the release of trace organic chemicals (TOrCs) into the aqueous environment, many countries have evaluated and implemented strategies to manage TOrCs. The aim of this study was to evaluate existing management strategies for TOrCs in different countries to derive and compare underlying core principles and paradigms and to develop suggestions for more holistic management strategies to protect the environment and drinking water supplies from the discharge of undesired TOrCs. The strategies in different industrial countries were summarized and subsequently compared with regards to three particular questions: 1) Do the approaches different countries have implemented manage all or only specific portions of the universe of chemicals; 2) What implementation and compliance strategies are used to manage aquatic and human health risk and what are their pros and cons; and 3) How are site-specific watershed differences being addressed? While management strategies of the different countries target similar TOrCs, the programs differ in several important aspects, including underlying principles, the balance between aquatic or human health protection, implementation methods, and financing mechanisms used to fund regulatory programs.

Sulfaquinoxaline Transformation by Chorine and UV

Nassar R, Mokh S, Rifai A, Chamas F, Hoteit M, Al Iskandarani M. Transformation of sulfaquinoxaline by chlorine and UV light in water: kinetics and by-product identification. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Dec 1. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0814-4.

Sulfaquinoxaline (SQX) is an antimicrobial of the sulfonamide class, frequently detected at low levels in drinking and surface water as organic micropollutant. The main goal of the present study is the evaluation of SQX reactivity during chlorination and UV irradiations which are two processes mainly used in water treatment plants. The SQX transformation by chlorination and UV lights (254 nm) was investigated in purified water at common conditions used for water disinfection (pH = 7.2, temperature = 25 °C, [chlorine] = 3 mg L-1). The result shows a slow degradation of SQX during photolysis compared with chlorination process. Kinetic studies that fitted a fluence-based first-order kinetic model were used to determine the kinetic constants of SQX degradation; they were equal to 0.7 × 10-4 and 0.7 × 10-2 s-1 corresponding to the half time lives of 162 and 1.64 min during photolysis and chlorination, respectively. In the second step, seven by-products were generated during a chlorination and photo-transformation of SQX and identified using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS). SO2 extrusion and direct decomposition were the common degradation pathway during photolysis and chlorination. Hydroxylation and isomerization were observed during photodegradation only while electrophilic substitution was observed during chlorination process.

Persistent Organic Pollutants in the River Niger

Unyimadu JP, Osibanjo O, Babayemi JO. Selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in water of River Niger: occurrence and distribution. Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Dec 6;190(1):6. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-6378-4.

This study assessed the levels and distribution of selected persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in water of River Niger. The selected POPs of interest were organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Fifteen representative sites along River Niger: three each from Gurara River (tributary) in Niger State, Lokoja (confluence) in Kogi State, Onitsha in Anambra State, Brass and Nicolas Rivers (tributaries) in Bayelsa State were selected for sampling quarterly over a 24-month period. A total of 240 surface and bottom water samples were collected using Van Dorn water sampler in the eight quarters of 2008-2009. At the Delta locations where tidal effects take place, high- and low-tide water samples were taken as compared to surface and bottom at the River Niger locations. For sample extraction, EPA method 3510c was employed with slight modifications. Certified reference standards from Accustandards USA was used for the instrument calibration and quantification of OCPs. The extracted samples were subjected to gas chromatography (GC/ECD) for identification/quantification. And Shimadzu GCMS QP2010 was used for confirmation. Chlordane, endosulfan, endrin and DDT metabolites were very prominent in the water samples, compared to HCH, dieldrin, and isomers which occurred at lower concentrations. The sequence in the concentration of the organochlorine pesticides were ∑chlordane > ∑DDT > ∑endosulfan > ∑endrine > ∑dieldrin > ∑HCH. The highest concentration of ∑OCPs in water samples of River Niger, 1138.0 ± 246.7 ng/L, with range 560.8-1629 ng/L was detected at Onitsha location, while the lowest concentration, 292.6 ± 74.9, with range 181-443.0 ng/L was detected at Nicolas River. Levels of OCPs in a larger percentage of the samples exceeded guidelines and therefore hold potential harmful effects on benthic fauna, fish, and man. Abstraction of water from the River for drinking water treatment should be discouraged. Because of the potential danger, this presents, continuous monitoring of the water body and if possible remediation, determination of the sources of the POPs is therefore very necessary.