Perfluorinated compounds in house dust from Ohio and North Carolina, USA

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 May 15;42(10):3751-6. doi: 10.1021/es7032058.


The perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), have come under increasing scrutiny due to their persistence, global distribution, and toxicity. Given that their human exposure routes remain poorly characterized, the potential role of house dust needs to be more completely evaluated. In this study, new methods for the analysis of 10 PFAAs and three fluorinated telomer alcohols (FTOHs) were developed for dust samples collected from homes (n = 102) and day care centers (n = 10) in Ohio and North Carolina in 2000-2001. FTOHs were measured by GC/ MS and PFAAs were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. PFOS and PFOA were the most prominent compounds detected, occurring in over 95% of the samples at median concentrations of 201 and 142 ng/g of dust, respectively. Maximal concentrations of PFOS were 12 100 ng/g (95th percentile, 2240 ng/g), PFOA 1960 ng/g (95th percentile, 1200 ng/g), and perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHS) 35 700 ng/g (95th percentile, 2300 ng/g). The 8:2 FTOH, which is volatile and can degrade to PFOA, had a maximum concentration of 1660 ng/g dust (95th percentile, 669 ng/g). These results indicate that perfluorinated compounds are present in house dust at levels that may represent an important pathway for human exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Dust*
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Quality Control
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • Dust
  • Fluorocarbons