Factors affecting the occurrence and accumulation of perfluoroalkyl acids in indoor dust in Tainan, Taiwan

Yi Wei Biao, Jing Ya Xu, Wan Ru Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are environmentally and biologically persistent chemicals. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of six PFAAs in dust samples collected from different indoor environments in a college campus in Tainan, Taiwan, and assessed the health risk of PFAAs exposure to college students. We also analyzed the effects of dust characteristics (total organic carbon, moisture content, and dust content) on PFAAs levels. With regard to the space type, the median of total PFAAs concentrations were in the order of laboratories (528.9 μg kg−1) > offices (304.2 μg kg−1) > dormitories (180.1 μg kg−1) > classrooms (105.1 μg kg−1). With regard to the height from the ground, the median total PFAAs concentrations were in the order of dust near the floors (>2 m; 383.6 μg kg−1) > near the ceiling (0–2 m; 202.5 μg kg−1) > on the ground (0 m; 145.6 μg kg−1). The main species of PFAAs, perfluorooctane sulfonate and short-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates, accounted for respectively 30%–60% and ∼20%–37% of total PFAAs pollution in the indoor space types and sampling heights under consideration. The average daily intake (ADI) values of six PFAAs for college students were found to be 0.059–0.126 ng kg−1 BW day−1 (BW: body weight), with dormitories and workplaces (i.e., laboratories and offices) accounting for over 40% and ∼50% of the ADI, respectively. The estimated hazard quotient ranged from 0.0029 to 0.0063, three orders of magnitude lower than 1, suggesting relatively low risks for college students exposed to the six PFAAs monitored in indoor dust. The analysis of dust characteristics revealed that total organic carbon did not have a significant effect on PFAAs levels as we expected. In contrast, dust moisture and cation content dominated PFAAs accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140882
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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