Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)

Rapport2018Öppen tillgång

Analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and phenolic compounds in Swedish rivers over four different seasons

Ahrens, Lutz; Vogel, Lisa; Wiberg, Karin


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and phenolic compounds are emerging organic pollutants characterized by their persistency, bioaccumulation and toxicity potential. In this study, 28 PFASs and 10 phenolic compounds were investigated in 10 Swedish rivers over four different seasons (October 2016, January 2017, April 2017 and July 2017). The objective was to investigate the levels, composition profiles, sesonal trends and fluxes for both compound classes. In total, 7 out of 28 PFASs and 9 out of 10 phenolic compounds were detected in surface water from the 10 rivers. The average concentration in all samples was 3.2 ng L-1 for ∑28PFASs (median 2.4 ng L-1, n = 40), while 230 ng L-1 for the sum of the phenolic compounds (median 0 ng L-1, n = 38). Highest average ∑28PFAS concentrations were found in Rönneån with 10 ng L-1 (median 11 ng L-1), followed by Norrström with 9.0 ng L-1 (median 9.1 ng L-1), whereas no PFASs were detected in Umeå älv and Ångermanälven. On the other hand, highest average of the sum of the phenolic compound concentrations were found in Nyköpingsån with 1500 ng L-1 (median 57 ng L-1), while for the other rivers the average ranged between 50 ng L-1 and 140 ng L-1, except for Emån where TBP was only detected in one sample with 0.33 ng L-1. This indicates that PFASs and phenolic compounds origin from different sources. The dominant PFASs were perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS, 38 % of the ∑28PFASs), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, 21 %), and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS (branched), 8.9 %), while the dominant phenolic compounds were 4nonylphenol (4-NP, 67 %), 4-tert-nonylphenol-diethoxylate (4-NP-EO2, 20 %), and 2,4,6tribromophenol (TBP, 10 %). The concentrations of PFASs and phenolic compounds were relatively constant during the four investigated seasons which indicates a relatively steady input of these two compound classes into the river systems. The daily fluxes of Σ28PFAS was estimated to be in total 220 g d-1 (81 kg year-1), whereas the daily fluxes of phenolic compounds was estimated to be 16000 g d-1 (5700 kg year-1) for all 10 investigated rivers. The Annual Average Environmental Quality Standard (AA-EQS) of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) was exceeded in 33% (n = 13) of the surface water samples for the sum of linear and branched PFOS and in 13% (n = 5) of the surface water samples for 4NP. This indicates that there is a potential risk for the aquatic environment. The AA-EQS of 4-octylphenol (4-OP) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) was not exceeded in any surface water sample. 


screening; svenska vattendrag; flodmynningar; PFAS; fenolära ämnen

Publicerad i

Utgivare: Institutionen för vatten och miljö (IVM), Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU)