PFAS Analysis

Trace-level detection and quantification of PFAS

PFAS workflows

Current and future limits

The analysis of poly-and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is now a regular test conducted across many environmental laboratories around the globe. The prevalence of PFAS compounds in environmental samples require an end to end workflow that is highly sensitive to quantify at parts per quadrillion levels (ppq), free from the spoils of contamination throughout the method, produces consistent, precise, and reliable results from injection to injection.

The demand for PFAS testing of drinking water, raw water, and soil (just to name a few) is expanding. PFAS testing needs are now migrating outside of the typical matrices found in environmental analysis to food products, animal tissues, human biological fluids. Therefore, depending on the type of analysis your laboratory performs, the chosen workflow must be adaptable and robust to analyze various sample types for PFAS.
Download PFAS lifecycle

PFAS workflows

A new series of advisory levels for PFAS

April 2024 saw the final announcement from the EPA announcing the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation, stating the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for six PFAS compounds in drinking water. Collaborating with industry experts, the SCIEX PFAS team are constantly challenging the status quo on the best PFAS applications our instruments can offer to our users, as evidenced by the technical materials and scientific knowledge presented here. Keep scrolling and discover what SCIEX offers, and ask us about more PFAS-related materials.

The Superfund law then designated PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), coinciding with a few regional regulations updates: such as the European Union (EU) and the state of New York banning PFAS in food packaging, and New Zealand banning PFAS in cosmetics.

One of the first major announcements by the US EPA focused on advisory levels for PFAS in drinking water, including contaminants such as Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), GenX (HFPO-DA) chemicals, and Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). The original proposal called for Health Advisories (HAs) as low as 4 parts-per-quadrillion (PPQ), which our internal SCIEX PFAS experts were the first to deliver a working method for this application using highly sensitive LC-MS/MS instrumentation.

Since then, a number of government-led guidelines have been announced to regulate these environmental pollutants and safeguard against potential harm due to human exposure. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) led with their universal PFAS restriction proposal covering a wide-range of commercial products containing this family of chemicals.


Highlights from our keynote speakers on PFAS

Amy Rand

Assistant Professor, Charlton University

Presentation: Screening of PFAS in cosmetics and personal care products

Andrew Patterson

Technical Director, Eurofins Specialty Services

Presentation: The ever-changing landscape of the modern PFAS laboratory

Cora Young

Associate Professor and Guy Warwick Rogers Chair, York University

Presentation: Environmental fate and global distribution of PFAS

Chris Higgins

PHD, University Distinguished Professor, Colorado School of Mines

Presentation: Advancing LC-MS analyses for characterizing human exposure to PFASs

PFAS workflows

Detect, quantify, characterize

Targeted trace level quantification

SCIEX 7500 system

For ultimate quantification of trace level PFAS compounds, the SCIEX 7500 system is the instrument of choice. The sensitivity gains reduce the need for concentration steps in sample preparation.

Non targeted unknown screening

Zeno Trap and EAD

With thousands of PFAS compounds out in the environment, and materials used in all aspects of daily life, the SCIEX 7600 system delivers comprehensive discovery workflows to detect and characterize new compounds of interest.