- Review Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Globally, several hundred thousand hectares of both agricultural and urban land have become contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS compounds are resistant to degradation and are mobile in soil compared to other common contaminants. Many compounds have K-D values (matrix/solution concentration quotients) of <10. PFAS compounds endanger the health of humans and ecosystems by leaching into groundwater, exposure via dust, and, to a lesser extent, through plant uptake. This review aims to determine the feasibility of phytomanagement, the use of plants, and the use of soil conditioners to minimize environmental risk whilst also providing an economic return in the management of PFAS-contaminated land. For most sites, PFAS combinations render phytoextraction, the use of plants to remove PFAS from soil, inviable. In contrast, low Bioaccumulation Coefficients (BAC; plant and soil concentration quotients) timber species or native vegetation may be usefully employed for phytomanagement to limit human/food chain exposure to PFAS. Even with a low BAC, PFAS uptake by crop plants may still exceed food safety standards, and therefore, edible crop plants should be avoided. Despite this limitation, phytomanagement may be the only economically viable option to manage most of this land. Plant species and soil amendments should be chosen with the goal of reducing water flux through the soil, as well as increasing the hydrophobic components in soil that may bind the C-F-dominated tails of PFAS compounds. Soil conditioners such as biochar, with significant hydrophobic components, may mitigate the leaching of PFAS into receiving waters. Future work should focus on the interactions of PFAS with soil microbiota; secondary metabolites such as glomalin may immobilize PFAS in soil. Show more
Journal / seriesInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Pages / Article No.
Subjectperfluoroalkyl substances; phytoremediation; leaching; food chain; soil contamination
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