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      Exploring unknown per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the German environment – The total oxidizable precursor assay as helpful tool in research and regulation

      , , , ,
      Science of The Total Environment
      Elsevier BV

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          Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment: Terminology, Classification, and Origins

          The primary aim of this article is to provide an overview of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) detected in the environment, wildlife, and humans, and recommend clear, specific, and descriptive terminology, names, and acronyms for PFASs. The overarching objective is to unify and harmonize communication on PFASs by offering terminology for use by the global scientific, regulatory, and industrial communities. A particular emphasis is placed on long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, substances related to the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, and substances intended as alternatives to the use of the long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids or their precursors. First, we define PFASs, classify them into various families, and recommend a pragmatic set of common names and acronyms for both the families and their individual members. Terminology related to fluorinated polymers is an important aspect of our classification. Second, we provide a brief description of the 2 main production processes, electrochemical fluorination and telomerization, used for introducing perfluoroalkyl moieties into organic compounds, and we specify the types of byproducts (isomers and homologues) likely to arise in these processes. Third, we show how the principal families of PFASs are interrelated as industrial, environmental, or metabolic precursors or transformation products of one another. We pay particular attention to those PFASs that have the potential to be converted, by abiotic or biotic environmental processes or by human metabolism, into long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic or sulfonic acids, which are currently the focus of regulatory action. The Supplemental Data lists 42 families and subfamilies of PFASs and 268 selected individual compounds, providing recommended names and acronyms, and structural formulas, as well as Chemical Abstracts Service registry numbers. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2011;7:513–541. © 2011 SETAC
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            The 2005 World Health Organization reevaluation of human and Mammalian toxic equivalency factors for dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

            In June 2005, a World Health Organization (WHO)-International Programme on Chemical Safety expert meeting was held in Geneva during which the toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for dioxin-like compounds, including some polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were reevaluated. For this reevaluation process, the refined TEF database recently published by Haws et al. (2006, Toxicol. Sci. 89, 4-30) was used as a starting point. Decisions about a TEF value were made based on a combination of unweighted relative effect potency (REP) distributions from this database, expert judgment, and point estimates. Previous TEFs were assigned in increments of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, etc., but for this reevaluation, it was decided to use half order of magnitude increments on a logarithmic scale of 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, etc. Changes were decided by the expert panel for 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.3), 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.03), octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and octachlorodibenzofuran (TEFs = 0.0003), 3,4,4',5-tetrachlorbiphenyl (PCB 81) (TEF = 0.0003), 3,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 169) (TEF = 0.03), and a single TEF value (0.00003) for all relevant mono-ortho-substituted PCBs. Additivity, an important prerequisite of the TEF concept was again confirmed by results from recent in vivo mixture studies. Some experimental evidence shows that non-dioxin-like aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists/antagonists are able to impact the overall toxic potency of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds, and this needs to be investigated further. Certain individual and groups of compounds were identified for possible future inclusion in the TEF concept, including 3,4,4'-TCB (PCB 37), polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, mixed polyhalogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polyhalogenated naphthalenes, and polybrominated biphenyls. Concern was expressed about direct application of the TEF/total toxic equivalency (TEQ) approach to abiotic matrices, such as soil, sediment, etc., for direct application in human risk assessment. This is problematic as the present TEF scheme and TEQ methodology are primarily intended for estimating exposure and risks via oral ingestion (e.g., by dietary intake). A number of future approaches to determine alternative or additional TEFs were also identified. These included the use of a probabilistic methodology to determine TEFs that better describe the associated levels of uncertainty and "systemic" TEFs for blood and adipose tissue and TEQ for body burden.
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              A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)?

              More than 3000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are, or have been, on the global market, yet most research and regulation continues to focus on a limited selection of rather well-known long-chain PFASs, particularly perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their precursors. Continuing to overlook the vast majority of other PFASs is a major concern for society. We provide recommendations for how to proceed with research and cooperation to tackle the vast number of PFASs on the market and in the environment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science of The Total Environment
                Science of The Total Environment
                Elsevier BV
                00489697
                August 2021
                August 2021
                : 782
                : 146825
                Article
                10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146825
                9384a328-fdaf-4384-9e59-c77a2468305c
                © 2021

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


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