Regional distribution of trifluoroacetate in surface waters downwind of urban areas in Northern California, U.S.A.

Thomas Cahill, James S. Seiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trifluoroacetate (TFA), a breakdown product of the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), has been found at higher concentrations in surface waters near urban areas compared to globally remote sites, but the scale of the urban enrichment, namely local or regional, is unknown. To determine the scale of urban enrichment of TFA in Northern California, a series of streams were sampled in 1998 along a transect upwind and downwind of the San Francisco and Sacramento metropolitan areas. In addition, 17 remote sites were sam pied in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, Canada and in Alaska, U.S.A. to determine the baseline TFA concentrations in Northern Hemisphere surface waters. The results showed elevated TFA concentrations in surface waters around and immediately downwind of urban areas. The enrichment was approximately 5-6 times higher than the concentrations in upwind sites. The northern remote sites showed a median TFA concentration of 21 ng/L, which was statistically indistinguishable from the upwind coastal sites of the Californian transect. The mechanism for the urban enrichment was unknown, but it may have been the result of additional sources of TFA other than the HFC/HCFCs or faster formation of TFA due to higher HFC/HCFC and hydroxyl radical concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2909-2912
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume34
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Trifluoroacetic Acid
hydrochlorofluorocarbon
hydrofluorocarbon
Surface waters
urban area
surface water
transect
hydroxyl radical
metropolitan area
Northern Hemisphere
distribution
Hydroxyl Radical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Regional distribution of trifluoroacetate in surface waters downwind of urban areas in Northern California, U.S.A. / Cahill, Thomas; Seiber, James S.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 34, No. 14, 15.07.2000, p. 2909-2912.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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