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The use of fluorinated ski waxes as a direct input route of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) to the environment was investigated. PFCA homologues with 6-22 carbon atoms (C6-22 PFCAs) were detected in fluorinated ski waxes and their raw materials by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. Snow and soil samples from a ski area in Sweden were taken after a skiing competition and after snowmelt, respectively. In both snow and soil samples C6-22 PFCAs were detected, representing the first report of PFCAs with up to 22 carbon atoms in environmental samples. Single analyte concentrations in snow (analyzed as melt water) and soil ranged up to 0.8μgL(-1) and 5ngg(-1) dry weight, respectively. ∑PFCA concentrations in snow and soil decreased from the start to the finish of the ski trail. Distinct differences in PFCA patterns between snow (prevalence of C14-20 PFCAs) and soil samples (C6-14 PFCAs dominating) were observed. Additionally, a PFCA pattern change from the start to about two third of the distance of the ski trail was found both for snow and soil, with a larger fraction of longer chain homologues present in samples from the start. These observations are probably a result of differences in PFCA homologue patterns present in different types of waxes. The calculated PFCA input from snow affected by the skiing competition was smaller than the PFCA inventory in soil for all chain lengths and markedly smaller for C6-15 PFCAs, presenting evidence for long-term accumulation in soil. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Merle M Plassmann, Urs Berger. Perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids with up to 22 carbon atoms in snow and soil samples from a ski area. Chemosphere. 2013 May;91(6):832-7

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PMID: 23466094

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