Evaluating Perfluoroalkyl Acids in Composts with Compostable Food Serviceware Products in their Feedstocks

Linda S. Lee, Professor in the Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, Purdue University

Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington

We recently conducted analysis of ten compost samples from across the United States for perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), which range in carbon chain length from 4 to 16 carbons. PFAAs are a subclass of chemicals and final degradation products of the broader class of per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) that are fire-resistant and repel water, fat and other substances. They are used in many commercial applications including food serviceware products such as paper plates and clamshells, pizza boxes and popcorn bags that are often present in wastes that are composted for reuse as fertilizers. Compost samples were collected from Washington, Oregon, California, Massachusetts and North Carolina at the consumer point of acquisition with assistance of nonprofit Zero Waste Washington. Nine of the samples were generated by commercial compost facilities and one was from a backyard compost bin. Samples were extracted and analyzed in Linda Lee’s environmental chemistry lab using a method similar to EPA recommendations.


To see the study summary (pdf): 

Evaluating Perfluoroalkyl Acids in Composts with Compostable Food Serviceware Products in their Feedstocks

 

Last Updated (Sunday, 08 April 2018 15:43)