2011: Moreton Bay, PFOA and PFOS detected.

Spatio-temporal assessment of perfluorinated compounds in the Brisbane River system, Australia: Impact of a major flood event


Perfluorinated chemicals including PFOA and PFOS have been widely used in consumer products and have become ubiquitous pollutants widely distributed in the aqueous environment. Following a major flood event in 2011, water samples were collected along a spatial gradient of the Brisbane River system to provide an initial estimate of the release of PFASs from flooded urban areas. PFOA (mean concentrations 0.13–6.1 ng L−1) and PFOS (mean concentrations 0.18–15 ng L−1) were the most frequently detected and abundant PFASs. Mean total PFASs concentrations increased from 0.83 ng L−1 at the upstream Wivenhoe Dam to 40 ng L−1 at Oxley Creek, representing an urban catchment. Total masses of PFOA and PFOS delivered into Moreton Bay from January to March were estimated to be 5.6 kg and 12 kg respectively. From this study, urban floodwaters appear to be a previously overlooked source of PFASs into the surrounding environment.