Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances

Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances -
PFAS Analysis

What is PFAS (Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances)?

PFAS (Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) are a highly persistent class of synthetic, man-made organofluorine compounds widely used in industrial applications, consumer products, packing and in Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam (AFFF). PFAS’ Carbon (C)-Fluorine (F) bond is the strongest known in organic chemistry giving them outstanding stability due under extreme heat and chemical stress. The different PFAS head groups provide their surfactant properties.

Public interest and concern in the compounds has significantly increased over the past decade due to PFAS’ extreme persistence in the environment, ability to migrate from soil to water, ability to bioaccumulate, human and ecotoxicity potential and adverse human health effects.

It is estimated that there are more than 5,000 identified fluorinated compounds; however, only a small fraction of these are specifically regulated in North America. As a part of our comprehensive Green Line Services and Solutions in which we help clients execute effective sustainability strategies, BV can help you analyze PFAs and build out comprehensive plans to address the associated, complex impacts on the environment. We developed our Green Line to specifically address these kinds of concerns, and our full suite of offerings can ultimately equip your organization to implement, measure, and achieve the best environmental and sustainable practices for a greener future.

How do I analyze for PFAS?

Deciding how to test for PFAS can be challenging. There are a variety of criteria that must be taken into consideration including: applicable regulatory framework, target compounds, sampling objectives and limitations of certain methods.

Bureau Veritas provides full-service analyses for an extensive list of PFAS (including PFOS and PFOA), many of which are known precursor compounds, in a diverse range of environmental matrices, as well as the total oxidizable precursors (TOPs) assay and now, the total organofluorine analysis by combustion ion chromatography (TOF-CIC).

To further assist you with determining the right analysis, we have developed a PFAS Analysis Toolkit and on-demand webinars that dig deeper into the toolkit’s testing options and our newest testing option: Total Organofluorine or TOF (also known as Total Organic Fluorine)

PFAS Analysis Toolkit Overview

    • PFAS by LC/MS/MS

      • Target PFAS determined at trace levels
      • Compliant with modified EPA Method 537, 537.1 and Method 533
      • Accredited by Standards Council of Canada (SCC), US Department of Defense (QSM 5.3) and the US National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP)
    • TOPs Assay

      • Target PFAS determined at trace levels, before and after oxidizing the sample to simulate natural processes
      • The measurement of PFAS is compliant with modified EPA Method 537
      • Accredited by Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the US National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP)
    • TOF by CIC

      • Measure of total PFAS based on the organofluorine content in a sample
      • No current EPA method, although efforts are underway to introduce one
      • Accredited through Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
      • NELAP accreditation targeted for latter 2021

      WEBINAR: Total Organofluorine (TOF) Analysis: The BIG Picture in PFAS Testing

    Related Articles