Risks and Effects of the dispersion of PFAS on Aquatic, Terrestrial and Human populations in the vicinity of International Airports

Due to the historical usage of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) which contained per- and polyfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) at fire drills at Göteborg Landvetter Airport and Stockholm Arlanda Airport, elevated PFAS concentrations were found in surface waters and fish in the vicinity of these airports. As a result of these findings, Swedavia Swedish Airport and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute Ltd IVL initiated the co-financed project Risks and Effects of the dispersion of PFAS on Aquatic, Terrestrial and Human Populations in the vicinity of international airports (RE-PATH) to study the long-term consequences of the releases of PFAS from firefighting training sites.

Since the project start in 2009, about 700 samples have been collected and analysed for their PFAS content. Toxicity tests have been performed to investigate potential influence of PFAS on reproduction, immobility and hatching frequency. The sediment-water balance has been studied to elucidate whether the PFAS accumulated in sediments contributes substantially to the water concentrations. The bioaccumulation and depletion potential was studied in goldfish, zebrafish and in crayfish. Furthermore, the load of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to Lake Mälaren was estimated and compared to releases via other sources. A mass balance model was developed to investigate the distribution and the rate of decline of PFOS-levels in the environment around Stockholm Arlanda Airport. In this final report, the results from 2009 to 2014 are summarised. More details on methods and results are given in individual reports and publications (Woldegiorgis et al., 2010, Norström et al., 2011, Norström& Viktor, 2012, Norström et al., 2013, Ahrens et al., 2015). The main conclusions from the project are: Firefighting training sites are significant point sources contributing to the environmental contamination of PFAS in Sweden. Individual firefighting training sites contribute only by a small fraction of the total load of PFAS to the Swedish environment, but can locally cause elevated concentrations of PFOS in fish and water by up to a factor of 100, in comparison to reference areas.

Den här rapporten finns endast på engelska. Svensk sammanfattning finns i rapporten.

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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