WHAT ARE PFAS COMPOUNDS?
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are classified as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) based on increasing environmental and health concerns and consequent developing regulatory standards. Comprising a class of over 3,000 identified fluorinated compounds; they are used in the manufacture of many products such as PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene), textile coatings, firefighting foams, semiconductors, paper and packaging coating additives, cleaning products, pesticides and metal plating process agents. The C-F bond is the strongest known in organic chemistry, making PFAS persistent in the environment. Longer chain PFAS are bioaccumulative as well. Key PFAS classes of concern include perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) such as PFOA, and perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) such as PFOS. Many PFAS will transform in the environment or via biological processes to form PFCAs or PFSAs.
There are no federal drinking water standards established for PFAS substances. However, in 2016, the EPA released drinking water health advisories of 70 parts per trillion for the sum of PFOS and PFOA to protect Americans from adverse health effects caused over a lifetime of exposure. Other countries, and select U.S. states have implemented regulations for a broader group of PFAS and the development of regulatory guidance is on-going.
As an emerging contaminant requiring evolving analytical methods, it is important that you get the highest degree of positive identification and accurate quantification. Analytical methods must be rugged and use defined best practices updated to reflect current understanding. SGS provides you industry leading testing experience over 16 years and more than 80,000 processed PFAS samples. SGS has multiple facilities in North America with broad accreditation scope including DoD, NELAP, and ISO17025.
We support your PFAS needs by:
- ANALYSIS of PFAS compounds of concern with the widest range of PFAS analytes and matrices available commercially •
- INSTRUMENTAL CAPACITY to address growing market demands for volume and turn-around-time with our network of 12 LC/MS/MS instruments available for PFAS analysis
- TOP (Total Oxidizable Precursor) analysis – providing you comprehensive information on unknown precursors at your site
- METHOD DEVELOPMENT – adapting to changing analytical needs. PFAS analytical methodologies and regulations are in a state of rapid transition. SGS AXYS is at the forefront of these changes, through collaboration with leading technical and regulatory groups. As the PFAS analytical requirements change, SGS helps you meet your evolving PFAS data needs. SGS has a wide variety of analytical options to support many and varied PFAS studies. Your SGS representative can assist you to determine the right service for your needs.
TOTAL OXIDIZIABLE PRECURSORS (TOPS)
TOP is an analytical procedure for transforming PFAS Precursors in a sample to measurable perfluorinated carboxylic acids (C4-C14), and is used to estimate potential PFCA contributions from unknown precursors. TOP uses persulfate-mediated hydroxyl radical oxidation to convert precursors to terminal PFCAs. The analysis may be applied with pre- and post-conversion measurements. The measured increase in PFCAs in the post-conversion analysis compared to pre-conversion values, represents a measure of the potential precursors in the sample. This data may be useful to clients concerned with studying overall PFAS in specific environments/sites, and to provide comprehensive assessments of remediation success.
CONTINUED COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Our unrivalled analytical experience, capabilities and capacity offer you the best choice for your PFAS testing needs. Consequently, SGS is the first choice for many government agencies, consultants and EHS managers. Our continuous improvement and quality control practices ensure comprehensive, current and defensible data.
Our PFAS Analyses include:
- A wide range of matrices to analyze 24 – 33 PFAS compounds in water, soil, sediments, biosolids and tissues/ biofluids.
- Specific analyte lists applicable to air, biological tissue and serum are available
- Specialized tests for precursors such as PAPs, diPAPs, FTCAs, FTUCAs etc, and for isomer speciation.
- Use of isotope dilution/internal standard methods in all matrices except prescriptive EPA 537 drinking water analysis
- Best in class reporting limits for low level PFAS work
- 8 dedicated LC/MS/MS instruments specifically for PFAS analysis in our network
- Technical expertise with more than 30 years of analytical experience and over 80,000 samples processed for PFAS
- Multiple accreditations including DoD, ELAP/TNI and ISO17025
- Demonstrated analytical proficiency demonstrated through regular PE studies and worldwide intercalibration studies
- The most experienced technical assistance available for SGS clients
When sampling for PFAS, use best practices prior to and during sampling to avoid residual PFAS on sampling equipment, cross contamination issues, and sample heterogeneity in high surfactant situations.Your SGS project manager can provide more information.
Using new nitrile gloves, collect the sample for PFAS first, prior to collecting samples for any other parameters into any other containers. This avoids contact with any other type of sample containers, bottles or package materials. Do not place the sample bottle cap on any other surface when collecting the sample.
Avoid all contact with the inside of the sample bottle or its cap. When the sample is collected and capped, place the sample bottle(s) in an individual sealed plastic bag (e.g. Ziploc) separate from all other sample parameter bottles. To facilitate whole container aqueous analysis, it may be necessary to provide samples of different bottle sizes.
Please include a fully completed chain-of-custody with each shipment. All sample documentation must be received for the samples to be accepted for analysis.
Samples are accepted Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. Samples are accepted Saturday delivery by Federal Express only. Other arrangements may be made as necessary.
Get a precise PFAS quote in 24hrs or less
PFAS analysis, in all environmental matrices, is surging in North America and around the globe. You need a laboratory with the expertise and the instrumentation in place to get your testing done with quality and in a timely manner.
Our PFAS laboratories are both state and DoD certified to perform the following analyses and we deliver the highest quality data at a competitive price:
- Drinking & ground water analysis
- Soils & sediments analysis
- Tissue & serum analysis
- Air & Dispersion agents analysis
PFAS Frequently Asked Questions
WHY IS PFAS SUCH A LARGE CONCERN?
WHY SO MANY DIFFERENT NAMES?
WHEN SHOULD SAMPLING OF PFAS BE CONSIDERED?
ARE THERE ANY FEDERAL DRINKING WATER STANDARDS ESTABLISHED FOR PFOA AND PFOS?