How Labs Are Working to Identify PFAS

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) are prominent environmental toxins found in countless products ranging from non-stick cookware, waterproof materials, cleaning products, fabrics, packaging, furniture, firefighting foam, and more. Thanks to its prevalence in industrial manufacturing, PFAS has infiltrated the global food chain and water supply. Studies have shown that more than 99 percent of the American population holds PFAS in their bloodstream. PFAS is known to cause various health issues, including cancer, liver issues, heightened cholesterol, lower infant birth weight, kidney disease, and much more.

While PFAS use is being diminished in commercial and manufacturing methods, these toxins are still widely used. Moreover, they do not break down through time, so those produced in the 20th century can still be found in our environment. There are new types of PFAS popping up frequently as industry sectors develop various products.

Soil and water supply are perfect areas for PFAS accumulation. To sample for PFAS, it is imperative to use instruments free from PFAS. There are several variants in samples, and current regulations define PFAS as a set list of contaminants. However, since evolving chemicals are constantly coming into play, there is an intensifying need for efficient analytical workflows that can spot PFAS with elevated precision or identify unidentified PFAS components in water samples.

Solid-Phase Extractions (SPE) analyze drinking water using LC-MS/MS. These techniques are time-consuming and complicated due to the use of a vacuum manifold and various chemicals. Human error can easily occur, boosting the risk of contamination. Now, new technologies for SPE are being implemented, which deliver unfailing results with minimal human interaction. This new automation process reduces the risk of contamination while simultaneously increasing overall efficiency. 

Monitoring and testing for PFAS contamination have improved thanks to recent advancements in mass spectrometry. Water testing laboratories have processes that are more cost-effective than before, achieving highly accurate results. Laboratories can now increase the range of possible objectives and more closely monitor false positives.

To learn more about PFAS or have your water tested, contact the water treatment experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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