PFAS Laboratory Testing

Merit Laboratories Provides PFAS Testing Services at our laboratory in Michigan 

As chemistry professionals committed to providing high quality analytical testing services, we understand the important role environmental laboratories play in protecting our environment.  After all, our children, families, friends, and neighbors may be using the same water source that we are testing.  Which is one of the reasons Merit Laboratories continuously invests in the latest instrumentation, method development procedures, and training to provide the most accurate data. 

Merit is certified for the analysis of PFAS by ISO/IEC 17025. Analytical method certification for PFAS includes drinking water by EPA 537 rev. 1.1 and wastewater | groundwater | surface water by ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution.


What are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)?

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are fluorinated organic chemicals, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).  PFAS chemicals are persistent and bioaccumulate. Persistent means they do not break down in the environment and bioaccumulate refers to the process of building up over time in the blood and organs.

Of all the PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS have been the most studied.  PFOA and PFOS have been used in the manufacturing of carpet, clothing, shoes, cookware, packaging, oil and water repellents, furniture, take-out food containers, and countless other application like the surfactants needed in chrome plating and the main compounds that researchers hope can be used in liquid breathing.  PFAS compounds have also been used by the Department of Defense (DoD) for fire extinguishing at military base airfields at locations throughout the United States.

PFAS substances are long carbon chain acids or salts with fluorines attached to most or all the carbons.  These were all man-made or breakdown products of man-made chemicals. 

20171116_112518.jpg

PFAS are also known as:

  • Perfluorinated chemicals

  • Perfluorochemicals

  • Perfluoroalkyls

  • Perfluorinated alkyl acids

  • Polyfluorinated chemicals

  • Polyfluorinated compounds

  • Polyfluoroalkyl substances

 

Why test for PFAS substances?

Currently we know of more than 500 PFCs being used in products and industries. At least two of these compounds seem to be scientifically-accepted as bad for humans and the environment: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).  A significant amount of research involving these compounds is currently being evaluated and published.  It seems likely that the list and limits might change. A significant amount of research involving those two compounds as well as many other PFC's are currently being studied and published.  The industry is in the early stages of dealing with these compounds and it seems likely that the list of compounds and limits might change as we learn more.

 

What methods do we perform?

Merit Laboratories offers two analytical options for PFAS. Analytical methods performed by Merit Laboratories include EPA 537 and ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution. Currently, there is not an EPA-approved method for non-drinking water samples.  Once a method is approved, Merit Laboratories will develop and run the additional method.

EPA 537: Merit Laboratories performs EPA 537 in drinking water for the list of PFAS substances that are EPA-approved by the method. EPA 537 is a prescriptive Drinking Water Method for PFCs.  It can only be used for the compounds in drinking water samples and is limited in the allowable modifications, according to the method.  The MDEQ list of PFCs requires a different method.

ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution: This is a method for non-drinking water matrices. Merit Laboratories can analyze for the MDEQ PFAS requested list of PFAS substances using ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution. During our method development for ASTM D7979, Merit was able consistently demonstrate much better recoveries for all PFAS compounds.  The better recoveries are partly attributed to much less sample handling.  Sample handling can both contaminate and remove compounds of interest in your samples. This method has been utilized in Australia to assist in an aggressive approach to PFC contamination issues. Additionally, this is the method that EPA Region 5 uses when testing for these compounds. 

 

What sample matrices do we test?

We can perform PFAS testing on drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment samples.

Do you have the list of the PFAS compounds required for the MDEQ IPP PFAS program?

Yes, here's the list of PFAS compounds in the MDEQ IPP program:

  • Perfluorobutanoic Acid (PFBA)

  • Perfluoropentanoic Acid (PFPeA)

  • 4:2 Fluorotelomer Sulfonic Acid (4:2 FTSA)

  • Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFHxA)

  • Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS)

  • Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHpA)

  • Perfluoropentane Sulfonic Acid (PFPeS)

  • 6:2 Fluorotelomer Sulfonic Acid (6:2 FTSA)

  • Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid - Linear (PFHxS-LN)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid - Branched (PFHxS-BR)

  • Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA)

  • 8:2 Fluorotelomer Sulfonic Acid (8:2 FTSA)

  • Perfluoroheptane Sulfonic Acid (PFHpS)

  • Perfluorodecanoic Acid (PFDA)

  • N-Methyl Perfluorooctane Sulfonamidoacetic Acid (N-MeFOSAA)

  • N-Ethyl Perfluorooctane Sulfonamidoacetic Acid (EtFOSAA)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid - Linear (PFOS-LN)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid - Branched (PFOS-BR)

  • Perfluoroundecanoic Acid (PFUnDA)

  • Perfluorononane Sulfonic Acid (PFNS)

  • Perfluorododecanoic Acid (PFDoDA)

  • Perfluorodecane Sulfonic Acid (PFDS)

  • Perfluorotridecanoic Acid (PFTrDA)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonamide (FOSA)

  • Perfluorotetradecanoic Acid (PFTeDA)

 

What PFAS compounds are analyzed in Drinking Water by EPA 537?

Here are the compounds that are analyzed by EPA 537 for drinking water:

  • Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFHxA)

  • Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS)

  • Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHpA)

  • Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid - Linear (PFHxS-LN)

  • Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid - Branched (PFHxS-BR)

  • Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA)

  • Perfluorodecanoic Acid (PFDA)

  • N-Methyl Perfluorooctane Sulfonamidoacetic Acid (N-MeFOSAA)

  • N-Ethyl Perfluorooctane Sulfonamidoacetic Acid (EtFOSAA)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid - Linear (PFOS-LN)

  • Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid - Branched (PFOS-BR)

  • Perfluoroundecanoic Acid (PFUnDA)

  • Perfluorododecanoic Acid (PFDoDA)

  • Perfluorotridecanoic Acid (PFTrDA)

  • Perfluorotetradecanoic Acid (PFTeDA)

 

What are the sample containers and preservation requirements for PFAS?

Merit will provide you with the needed sample containers and preservatives. Here are the specifics:

  • EPA 537 (Drinking Water): We provide two 250-ml containers preserved with TRIZMA.

  • ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution(Water): We provide three 15-ml centrifuge tubes.

 

How do we set-up PFAS testing?

It's simple because we make things easy for our clients. To set-up a PFAS project, just contact Merit Laboratories at 517.332.0167, email at info@meritlabs.com, or complete the PFAS form below. We will guide you through the sample collection container needs, compound lists, holding times, and method selection.

Name *
Name
Select sample matrix from drop down menu.
Phone
Phone
Please tell us a little about the project if you have any information to share.