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The Analysis of Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) – Challenges and Best Practices

Event Announcement

Tuesday, Dec 19, 2017

PFAS are a family of synthetic compounds containing thousands of chemicals formed from carbon (C) chains with fluorine (F) attached to these chains. The C-F bond is the shortest and strongest bond in nature, and is responsible for most of the unique and useful characteristics of these compounds. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are fully fluorinated organic compounds and were the most common PFAS produced in the United States. PFOS and PFOA are used in a wide variety of industrial and commercial products such as textiles, leathers, aqueous film forming foams (AFFF), metal plating, photo lithography, semi-conductors, paper and food packaging, coating additives, cleaning products and pesticides.

PFOS and PFOA are persistent in the environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes. As a result, they are widely distributed and are found in soil, sediments, groundwater, air and tissue across the United States. According to U.S. EPA, PFOA and PFOS pose potential adverse impacts to the environment and human health due to the bio accumulative and mobile nature of the compounds.

In 2006, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) announced the PFOA Stewardship Program, to phase out the emissions and the use of long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), by December 31st, 2015.  The result of this shift to shorter chain replacement chemicals, (i.e. GenX) is that labs need to invest in method development, which adds to industry complexity.

This presentation will briefly cover the basic introductory topics of nomenclature, structure, chemistry, exposure and risk.  

We will focus our attention on more complex PFAS topics.

Complex topics the presentation will cover include:

  • Analytical methods review
  • How do we reduce variability?
  • Explanation of the USEPA Technical Advisory Method 537 Rev. 1.1
  • GenX and other short chain target analytes
  • Review of the DoD QSM 5.1 PFAS requirements 
  • Commercially available Performance Testing samples – Study Results
  • Sample collection and storage, including an extraction holding time study
  • Isotope Dilution and LCMSMS
  • New In Line SPE Capability
  • The Total Oxidizable Precursor (TOP) Assay – What is it and what do the results mean?
  • Future concerns
  • Capabilities and Questions?

A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation. At the conclusion of each webinar, you will be asked for your feedback and opinions for future webinar topics to be developed by TestAmerica.

December 19, 2017