Eurofins and SCIEX achieve lowest detection limits for PFAS chemicals in drinking water

Several modifications of existing procedures were employed with varying levels of success

Eurofins Sacramento, part of the Eurofins network of companies in the US, in collaboration with SCIEX USA, has successfully achieved the analytical challenge of detecting the 2022 interim Health Advisory Levels (HALs) of 4ppq (parts per quadrillion) for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 20ppq for Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), as established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The drinking water HALs for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are not enforceable regulatory limits but indicate the levels below which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur, considering lifetime exposure. The low ppq levels demand an unprecedented level of cleanliness and instrument sensitivity which ultimately necessitate newer, and more robust analytical techniques.

The results achieved provide clear evidence that ultra-trace levels of PFOA and PFOS can be detected, but with significantly increased levels of effort, cost, and environmental impact that are not sustainable for routine analysis.

With this demonstration of capabilities, Eurofins Sacramento is in the process of developing an ultra-trace method capable of supporting the analysis of PFAS in the sub-ppt (parts per trillion) range.

A recent review from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines a host of health effects associated with PFAS exposure, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

Image credit- shutterstock

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