Eurofins Sacramento, part of the Eurofins (Paris:ERF) network of companies in the US, in collaboration with SCIEX USA, successfully achieved the analytical challenge of detecting the 2022 interim Health Advisory Levels (HALs) of 4ppq (parts per quadrillion) for PFOA and 20ppq for PFOS, as established by the US EPA.
The drinking water HALs for 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 range.
Methodology to Achieve the 2022 interim Health Advisory Levels
Current commercial lab limits of quantitation for PFAS are at 2ppt, requiring a 500-fold decrease for PFOA and a 100-fold for PFOS to support the US EPA HALs. Several modifications of existing procedures were employed with varying levels of success, including analysis on a SCIEX 7500, new LCMS column and traps, pre-rinsing consumables, use of water filtered through an LCMS column, and extraction in a clean room. At the conclusion of these efforts, a series of sample analyses demonstrated achievability of the 2022 interim Health Advisory Levels.
For technical specifications and data related to this development, visit the SCIEX USA technical note “Achieving low parts-per-quadrillion detection limits for PFAS analysis in drinking water”.
About Eurofins Environment Testing – USA
The Eurofins environmental laboratories network in the US performs analysis of drinking water, groundwater, seawater, soil, air, and tissue using state-of-the-art analytical methods to assess quality and impact on health and the environment.
About Eurofins – the global leader in bio-analysis
Eurofins is Testing for Life. With 61,000 staff across a network of 940 laboratories in 59 countries, Eurofins’ companies offer a portfolio of over 200,000 analytical methods.
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