Articles | Volume 17, issue 7
Research article
06 Apr 2017
Research article |  | 06 Apr 2017

Uncertainty and variability in atmospheric formation of PFCAs from fluorotelomer precursors

Colin P. Thackray and Noelle E. Selin

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Cited articles

Bey, I., Jacob, D. J., Yantosca, R. M., Logan, J. A., Field, B., Fiore, A. M., Li, Q., Liu, H., Mickley, L. J., and Schultz, M.: Global modeling of tropospheric chemistry with assimilated meteorology: Model description and evaluation, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 23073–23096, 2001.
Butt, C. M., Young, C. J., Mabury, S. A., Hurley, M. D., and Wallington, T. J.: Atmospheric chemistry of 4 : 2 fluorotelomer acrylate (C4F9CH2CH2OC(O)CH  =  CH2): kinetics, mechanisms and products of chlorine atom and OH radical initiated oxidation, J. Phys. Chem. A, 113, 3155–3161, 2009.
Cheng, H. and Sandu, A.: Uncertainty quantification and apportionment in air quality models using the polynomial chaos method, Environ. Model. Softw., 24, 917–925, 2009.
Chiappero, M. S., Malanca, F. E., Arguello, G. A., Wooldridge, S. T., Hurley, M. D., Ball, J. C., Wallington, T. J., Waterland, R. L., and Buck, R. C.: Atmospheric chemistry of perfluoroaldehydes (CxF2x + 1CHO) and fluorotelomer aldehydes (CxF2x + 1CH2CHO): Quantification of the important role of photolysis, J. Phys. Chem. A, 110, 11944–11953, 2006.
Conder, J. M., Hoke, R. A., de Wolf, W., Russell, M. H., and Buck, R. C.: Are PFCAs bioaccumulative? A critical review and comparison with regulatory criteria and persistent lipophilic compounds, Environ. Sci. Technol., 42, 995–1003, 2008.
Short summary
PFCAs are toxic contaminants that can form in the atmosphere when precursor chemicals are released and degrade. We calculate the capacity of different atmospheric environments to form PFCAs this way. Different environments have very different capacities to form PFCAs, with the atmosphere far from sources of pollution being much better able to make the more toxic PFCAs. While the chemistry involved has uncertainties, they are small compared to the differences between environments.
Final-revised paper