Perfluoroalkyl substances in the Ebro and Guadalquivir river basins (Spain)

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Mediterranean rivers are characteristically irregular with changes in flow and located in high population density areas. This affects the concentration of pollutants in the aquatic environments. In this study, the occurrence and sources of 21 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) were determined in water, sediment and biota of the Ebro and Guadalquivir river basins (Spain). In water samples, of 21 analytes screened, 11 were found in Ebro and 9 in Guadalquivir. In both basins, the most frequents were PFBA, PFPeA and PFOA. Maximum concentration was detected for PFBA, up to 251.3ngL-1 in Ebro and 742.9ngL-1 in Guadalquivir. Regarding the sediments, 8 PFASs were detected in the samples from Ebro and 9 in those from Guadalquivir. The PFASs most frequently detected were PFBA, PFPeA, PFOA and PFOS. Maximum concentration in Ebro samples was, in dry weight, for PFOA (32.3ngg-1) and in Guadalquivir samples for PFBA (63.8ngg-1). For biota, 12 PFASs were detected in fish from the Ebro River and only one (PFOS) in that from Guadalquivir. In the Ebro basin, the most frequents were PFBA, PFHxA, PFOA, PFBS, PFOS and PFOSA. Maximum concentration in Ebro samples was, in wet weight, for PFHxA with 1280.2ngg-1, and in Guadalquivir samples for PFOS with 79.8ngg-1. These compounds were detected in the whole course of the rivers including the upper parts. In some points contamination was due to point sources mostly related to human activities (e.g. ski resorts, military camps, urban areas.). However, there are also some areas clearly affected by diffuse sources as atmospheric deposition ​
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