Perfluorinated substances (PF) are environmental pollutants that are used to coat fibres of so called “all weather clothes” to make them water resistant. PF are effectively spread through water. Waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) are a pollutant source of these substances. PF are poisonous to different kinds of organisms, and supposedly also to human beings, if concentrations are sufficiently high.
Perfluorinated substances have been investigated at three waste water treatment plants in Stockholm during the 2000’s. This study deals with five perfluorinated substances, PFOS, PFOA. PFOSA, PFDoA and PFUnA. By comparing the contents of perfluorinated substances detected in sludge from waste water treatment plants, with calculated emissions of PF from clothes, I have investigated whether or not the all weather clothes are a major source of emission of perfluorinated substances.
The results show that the estimated contents of perfluorinated substances in sludge by WWTPs caused by all weather clothes are between 0,04 % and 2,2 % of the total PF emission, which means about 0,6-9,5 kg annually from the three WWTPs studied here. Thus, all weather clothes are not a dominating source of emission of PF in sludge, but rather one of many sources.
Since the perfluorinated substances have very high persistence, it is of great concern that these substances appear in the environment. The amounts of PF found in sludge are high enough to pollute significant amounts of water. Several studies should be conducted to increase the understanding of emission sources of the perfluorinated substances.
2012. , 28 p.