Oral Presentation Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Roadside Soil Survey of Baseline Legacy and Emerging PFAS in Rural Victoria, Australia (#71)

Damien Moodie , Drew Szabo 1 , Suzie M Reichman 1 , Dayanthi Nugegoda , Graeme Alinson , Bradley O Clarke 1
  1. Melbourne University, Melbourne

PFAS contamination of soil, water and sediment is a global phenomenon with concentrations related to PFAS usage and manufacturing history. While Australia has no history of direct PFAS manufacturing, per and polyfluoroalkyl compounds have a long past of widespread usage including in firefighting foams, industrial applications, and end use consumer products. To determine the baseline level of 44 PFAS compounds in rural and urban soils in the state of Victoria, Australia a survey of surface soils was conducted at 50 separate sampling sites covering population distributions ranging from 1 to 444 people per square kilometre, along an approximately 1,300 km transect. The presence of PFOS especially in soils classified as urban and the concentration ranges observed as a part of this study were similar to the baseline levels of PFOS found in international studies, PFOS was quantified above the method detection limit at 82% of surveyed sites and was at a concentration >0.5 ng/g at all urban soil survey sites regardless of population density (max 4.8 ng/g) while the 4-carbon chain perfluoroalkyl acid PFBA (range <0.6 – 6 ng/g) was quantified at 80% of surveyed sites making it the most abundant PFCA quantified as a part of this survey. No significant correlations were found for any investigated PFAS compounds and soil conductivity, soil pH and % soil organic matter as a part of this study.