Is Ongoing Sulfluramid Use in South America a Significant Source of Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)? Production Inventories, Environmental Fate, and Local Occurrence
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 50, no 2, 653-659 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Despite international phase-out initiatives, production and use of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and related substances continues in some countries. In Brazil, the PFOS-precursor N-ethyl perfluorooctane sulfonamide (EtFOSA) is used in Sulfluramid, a pesticide for controlling leaf-cutting ants. New data on production, environmental fate, and occurrence of Brazilian Sulfluramid are reported herein. From 2003 to 2013, Brazilian Sulfluramid manufacturing increased from 30 to 60 tonnes yr(-1) EtFOSA. During this time <1.3 tonnes yr(-1) were imported, while exports increased from similar to 0.3 to 2 tonnes yr(-1). From 2004 to 2015, most EtFOSA was exported to Argentina (7.2 tonnes), Colombia (2.07 tonnes), Costa Rica (1.13 tonnes), Equador (2.16 tonnes), and Venezuela (2.4 tonnes). Within Brazil, sales occurred primarily in the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Espirito Santo, and Bahia. Model simulations predict EtFOSA will partition to soils, while transformation products perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA) and PFOS are sufficiently mobile to leach into surface waters. In support of these predictions, up to 3400 pg L(-)1 of FOSA and up to 1100 pg L(-)1 of PFOS were measured in Brazilian surface water, while EtFOSA was not detected. The high FOSA/PFOS ratio observed here (up to 14:1) is unprecedented in the scientific literature to our knowledge. Depending on the extent of conversion of EtFOSA, cumulative Brazilian Sulfluramid production and import from 2004 to 2015 may contribute between 167 and 487 tonnes of PFOS/FOSA to the environment. These levels are clearly nontrivial and of concern since production is continuing unabated.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 50, no 2, 653-659 p.
Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127375DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04544ISI: 000368563400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-127375DiVA: diva2:909471