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EPA/600/R-09/033

  Perfluorocarboxylic Acid Content in 116 Articles of Commerce (EPA/600/R-09/033) March 2009

Several recent studies have found elevated levels of perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) in house dust, suggesting strongly the presence of indoor sources of these compounds. The main goal of this study was to identify and rank potentially important indoor sources by determining the PFCA content in articles of commerce (AOCs). We analyzed 116 AOC samples purchased from retail outlets in the United States between March 2007 and May 2008 by using a newly developed extraction/analytical method. For these 116 samples, the content of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA-C8) ranged from non-detectable to 6750 ng/g, whereas the content of total PFCAs (the sum of C5 to C12 acids) ranged from non-detectable to 47100 ng/g. Given the quantities of articles found in typical homes, it is clear that professional carpet-care liquids, pre-treated carpeting, treated floor waxes and sealants, and treated home textile products and upholstery are likely the most important PFCA sources in non-occupational indoor environments. The perfluorochemical-containing AOC market has been in a transition period. Limited data suggest that the PFCA content in AOCs has shown a downward trend overall. However, definitive confirmation of such a trend will require long-term monitoring. More studies are needed to better understand PFCA transport, exposure routes, and ways to reduce exposures in indoor environments.

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Zhishi Guo


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