PFAS Testing Lab

PFAS Testing Lab: Analysis for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Nova Analytic Labs is a leading provider of PFAS testing services, offering a comprehensive range of solutions for detecting and monitoring these persistent and potentially harmful chemicals.

Our state-of-the-art laboratory and experienced team are dedicated to delivering accurate and reliable results to help protect public health and the environment.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals widely used in various industries due to their water- and oil-resistant properties. However, these chemicals are persistent in the environment and can accumulate in the human body, raising concerns about their potential health effects. PFAS include compounds like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which were widely used in products like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and firefighting foams.

Due to their extensive use and long lifetimes, PFAS are ubiquitous in natural environments and have been measured in human biological samples. Many studies have found relationships between PFAS exposure and poor health outcomes, including suppressed immune function, cancer, endocrine disruption, liver damage, and various diseases. Regular testing and monitoring are crucial to identify and mitigate potential exposure, comply with regulations, and protect public health.

Our PFAS testing services are suitable for a wide range of clients, including:

  • Government agencies and municipalities
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Manufacturing and industrial companies
  • Agricultural businesses
  • Individuals concerned about PFAS exposure
  • PFAS Drinking Water Testing We offer comprehensive testing services for PFAS in drinking water sources, including public water systems, private wells, and bottled water. Our methods comply with EPA guidelines, including Method 537, Method 537.1, and Method 537.1 Modified. We can detect and quantify a wide range of PFAS compounds at extremely low levels, ensuring accurate results for regulatory compliance and public health protection.
  • PFAS Groundwater Testing PFAS contamination in groundwater can originate from various sources, such as industrial sites, airports, and landfills. Our groundwater testing services utilize advanced analytical techniques to identify and monitor PFAS levels, supporting remediation efforts and protecting local water supplies. We can test for multiple PFAS compounds and provide detailed analysis to guide informed decision-making.
  • PFAS Soil Testing Soil can become contaminated with PFAS through various pathways, including biosolids application, wastewater discharge, and industrial activities. Our soil testing services employ rigorous sample preparation and analysis methods to provide accurate data on PFAS concentrations in soil and sediment samples. This information is crucial for assessing the extent of contamination and guiding appropriate remediation strategies.
  • PFAS Wastewater and Biosolids Testing PFAS can be present in wastewater and biosolids, posing risks to the environment and human health if not properly managed. Our testing services help wastewater treatment plants and biosolids processors identify and mitigate PFAS contamination. We analyze influent, effluent, sludge, and biosolid samples, providing detailed reports on PFAS levels and recommendations for treatment and disposal options.
  • PFAS Testing for Consumer Products and Plastic Many consumer products, including food packaging, textiles, and plastics, may contain PFAS. Our testing services help manufacturers and consumers identify and address PFAS concerns in these products. We can test a wide range of materials for the presence of various PFAS compounds, enabling informed decisions about product safety and compliance.
  • PFAS Testing for Agricultural and Food Products PFAS contamination can enter the food chain through various pathways, such as contaminated water used for irrigation or biosolids applied as fertilizers. Our testing services help agricultural businesses and food producers ensure the safety of their products. We can analyze plant tissues, animal products, and soil samples for PFAS, supporting risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
  • PFAS Testing for Government and Corporations We provide comprehensive PFAS testing services to government agencies, military installations, and corporations, supporting compliance with regulations, environmental assessments, and remediation efforts. Our expertise ensures reliable data and robust analysis, enabling informed decision-making and effective risk management strategies.
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): A group of man-made chemicals that are persistent in the environment and human body, known for their water- and oil-resistant properties.
  • Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): One of the most widely studied PFAS compounds, formerly used in the production of non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics.
  • Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS): Another common PFAS compound, formerly used in firefighting foams and various industrial applications.
  • Bioaccumulation: The gradual accumulation of substances, such as PFAS, in an organism’s body over time.
  • Biosolids: Nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage at wastewater treatment facilities, often applied as fertilizers.
  • EPA Method 537: An analytical method developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for detecting and quantifying select PFAS compounds in drinking water.
  • EPA Method 537.1: An updated version of Method 537, expanding the list of PFAS compounds to be monitored in drinking water.
  • EPA Method 537.1 Modified: A modified version of Method 537.1, incorporating additional PFAS compounds and improvements in sample preparation and analysis.
  • EPA Method 1633: An EPA-approved method for detecting and quantifying PFAS compounds in various environmental matrices, including surface water, groundwater, and solids.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A federal law that sets standards for drinking water quality and regulates public water systems in the United States.
  • Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR): A program under the SDWA that requires public water systems to monitor for unregulated contaminants, including PFAS.
  • Health Advisory Level (HAL): A non-enforceable level set by the EPA to provide guidance on the acceptable level of a contaminant in drinking water, based on potential health effects.
  • Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): An enforceable standard set by the EPA for the maximum permissible level of a contaminant in public water systems.
  • State-Specific Regulations: Many states have implemented their own regulations and guidelines for PFAS in drinking water, groundwater, and other environmental matrices, which may be more stringent than federal standards.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of fluorine-containing organic compounds that have been used extensively in industrial and consumer products. The first PFAS compounds were developed in the 1930s, with key milestones including:

  • 1934: Chemists at IG Farben developed polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE), one of the first PFAS compounds.
  • 1938: DuPont chemists discovered polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), known as Teflon.
  • Late 1940s/early 1950s: 3M developed perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which helped DuPont improve the Teflon production process.
  • 1950s: PFAS production and usage expanded greatly due to their resistance to heat, water, and oil. Common applications included non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, water-repellent clothing, lubricants, and firefighting foams.

In the early 2000s, concerns about the environmental and health impacts of PFAS led to phasing out certain compounds like PFOA and PFOS. However, replacement compounds, including longer-chain substances and shorter-chain alternatives, have also raised concerns about potential risks.

One common approach to monitoring PFAS is targeted analysis, which measures the concentrations of specific PFAS compounds in a sample matrix. This method has been used for decades for compounds like PFOS and PFOA and continues to be expanded as new certified standards become available. The analysis typically involves sample preparation, concentration, and analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

However, targeted analysis has limitations, as it may only cover a small fraction of the thousands of PFAS compounds in use. Alternative methods include:

  • Extractable Organofluorine (EOF) analysis: This approach measures the total organofluorine content in a sample using combustion ion chromatography. Initial studies suggest that targeted PFAS analysis only accounts for a fraction of the total EOF measured, indicating the presence of unidentified organofluorine compounds, including unmonitored PFAS.
  • High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS): This method can detect thousands of chemicals and can be used for suspect screening by comparing molecular features against a database of known PFAS compounds or by using in-source fragmentation to identify specific chemical classes like PFAS.

While targeted analysis remains widely used, the availability of alternative methods like EOF and HRMS allows researchers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of total PFAS exposure and the presence of unknown or unmonitored PFAS compounds in various environmental matrices.

Contact Nova Analytic Labs today to discuss your PFAS testing needs and receive a quote. Our team specializes in providing accurate and reliable results to safeguard public health and protect the environment.