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PFAS - Including PFOA and PFOS

The Nature of PFAS Compounds

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) or perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), including Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) pictured below, refer to a group of synthetic compounds containing thousands of chemicals formed from fluorinated carbon chains.  These C-F bonds are the shortest and strongest bonds in nature, and possess unique lipid- and water-repellent properties which make them beneficial for many commercial and industrial applications.  PFASs have been utilized for more than 50 years in products such as leathers, metal plating, paper and packaging, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) and cleaning products.

PFAS compounds are persistent in the environment and have shown the ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify in wildlife.  Further, PFAS compounds are biologically and chemically stable in the environment and tend to resist environmental degradation processes.  As such, they are widely distributed and are found in soil, sediments, groundwater, air and tissue.

In 2006, U.S. EPA initiated a program to phase out the use of long-chain PFASs by the end of 2015.  Health-based advisories or screening levels for PFOS, PFOA and other PFAS constituents have been developed by EPA and many state agencies.

TestAmerica’s Support of PFAS Methods

TestAmerica offers PFAS testing at its Denver and Sacramento locations.  The LC/MS/MS methods for the determination of PFAS related compounds are modeled after SW 846 Method 8321. Capabilities for drinking water are available, with samples analyzed by EPA Method 537.  TestAmerica has also successfully modified Method 537 for use on more complex matrices, such as groundwater, soil, tissue and sediment. 

Typical reporting limits for water samples are in the 2-100 part per trillion range, and soils in the 0.2-20 part per billion levels.  The analysis is performed by liquid chromatography and electrospray mass spectrometry. This technique utilizes MS/MS detection, mass spectral separation followed by ion fragmentation and mass separation. This is the most sensitive and selective detection capability available in the environmental testing industry today.

How Can TestAmerica Help You?

TestAmerica understands the needs of clients undertaking sampling events to identify and monitor emerging contaminants such as PFAS and related compounds.  We have designed a program that leverages our experience in LC/MS/MS technology to provide a quality and cost effective solution to your analytical testing needs.  Quality encompasses more than just error-free and defensible data; our industry leading program also incorporates the technical guidance and expertise of our Experts to ensure that we understand your analytical needs and accomplish your data quality objectives.

For more detailed information on TestAmerica's PFAS offerings, please click here to download our brochure.