Atmospheric Concentrations of New Persistent Organic Pollutants and Emerging Chemicals of Concern in the Group of Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) Region

A special initiative was run by the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network to provide atmospheric data on a range of emerging chemicals of concern and candidate and new persistent organic pollutants in the Group of Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) region. Regional-scale data for a range of flame retardants (FRs) including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organophosphate esters (OPEs), and a range of alternative FRs (novel FRs) are reported over 2 years of sampling with low detection frequencies of the novel FRs. Atmospheric concentrations of the OPEs were an order of magnitude higher than all other FRs, with similar profiles at all sites. Regional-scale background concentrations of the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including the neutral PFAS (n-PFAS) and perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), and the volatile methyl siloxanes (VMS) are also reported. Ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamide (EtFOSA) was detected at highly elevated concentrations in Brazil and Colombia, in line with the use of the pesticide sulfluramid in this region. Similar concentrations of the perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFAS) were detected throughout the GRULAC region regardless of location type, and the VMS concentrations in air increased with the population density of sampling locations. This is the first report of atmospheric concentrations of the PFAAs and VMS from this region.

Authors: Rauert C, Harner T, Schuster JK, Eng A, Fillmann G, Castillo LE, Fentanes O, Villa Ibarra M, Miglioranza KSB, Moreno Rivadeneira I, Pozo K, Aristizábal Zuluaga BH. ; Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology. 2018 Jul 3;52(13):7240-7249. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00995. Epub 2018 Jun 15.