Superfund Research Program

June 2024

Paper of the Month or Year

Texas A&M University SRP Center researchers evaluated the ability of six different sorbent materials, made up of activated carbon or specialized clays, to trap four PFAS chemicals in soil. They exposed worms and aquatic plants to soil or water to measure the bioavailability of PFAS and how changes in bioavailability translate to toxicity.

Their findings suggest that adding a combination of activated carbon and modified clays is a practical approach to help reduce the spread of PFAS in soils while protecting surrounding plants and animals. Overall, adding any of the sorbent materials reduced PFAS bioavailability in soil by 58-97%. Activated carbon was the most effective at trapping PFAS, reducing the bioavailable amount by 73-97%, depending on the amount of sorbent used. Their method was effective in trapping PFAS for up to 21 days, even when the soil samples were exposed to different conditions, including simulations of acid rain, fresh water, and brackish water.

To learn more, see the NIEHS Environmental Factor Papers of the Month.