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Perfluorooctane Sulphonate (PFOS) - a Persistent Pollutant

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Perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) is considered to be a persistent environmental pollutant, with a half life in natural water of approximately 41 years. It is resistant to hydrolysis, photolysis, and aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation. Explain why PFOS is so resistant to these processes.

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PFOS is a contaminant that is found almost everywhere in the environment. This substance can serve as an ingredient in fire extinguishing foams, wrappers for microwave ovens and numerous products (including food!). This ubiquitous pollutant was also discovered in different aquatic animals such as dolphins, seals, otters and even polar bears.

"PFOS accumulates to a high degree ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses in detail the reasons why Perfluorooctane Sulphonate (PFOS) is very much resistant to processes such as hydrolysis, photolysis, and aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation. The structure of PFOS is given as well as its chemical properties, which explain why it is one of the persistent environmental pollutants.