About Perfluorinated and Polyfluorinated Chemical Compounds

Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic organic chemicals that have been used for decades in a variety of heat-resistant, stain-resistant, stick-resistant, and other specialty applications.  For example, PFOA and PFOS have been used as ingredients in food packaging materials, non-stick cookware, coatings for textiles, carpet, garments, dental floss, and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).  PFCs are persistent, bio-accumulative, and toxic (PBT), are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and are Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs).

  • Approaches

    SGS PSI offers a comprehensive approach to the analysis of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in a variety of raw materials, industrial products, and consumer goods.  Our extensive sample preparation expertise and state-of-the art analytical instrumentation are key to our ability to provide our clients with reliable data sets.  The analysis of PFAS is performed by our highly experienced scientists within our ISO 17025 accredited, FDA registered, cGMP compliant laboratory to generate data sets that meet the requirements of regulatory agencies.

    The generation of an analytical sample from a polymer, plastic, or rubber material is the critical first step to PFAS analysis of raw materials, industrial products, and consumer goods.  Our scientists have the experience and necessary laboratory equipment and apparatus, including solid phase extraction (SPE), to perform this step with excellence, and to customize the method to accommodate the unique attributes of our client’s samples.

    Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) has emerged as the technique of choice for the analysis of PFCs, due to its high sensitivity for detecting and identifying trace components of a mixture.  Our high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) quadrupole time-of-flight (qTof) LC-MS is especially valuable for PFC analysis.  The high mass accuracy of this instrument allows compounds to be identified with a high degree of certainty, even for unexpected compounds.  Our qTof instrument also produces ion fragmentation patterns, which are used as chemical fingerprints to give additional confidence in the identification of PFCs.  Paired with Cheminformatics software, parent and fragment ions can be matched to each other, assisting in data interpretation.

    SGS PSI provides testing of polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAA), and other perfluorinated compounds (PFC) to ensure the safety and regulatory compliance of your raw materials and products.

  • PFOA, PFOS, PFAA, PFAS, and PFC Test Considerations

    The analysis of PFOA, PFOS, PFAA, PFAS, and PFC is performed to provide identification and quantity of these persistent organic pollutants.  The analysis is based on solvent extraction of polymer, plastic, or rubber materials.  The samples can be raw materials, industrial products, or consumer goods.  After matrix-specific sample preparation steps, which may include particle size reduction, exhaustive extraction, dissolution, liquid-liquid extraction, solid phase extraction (SPE) or a combination of these, the perflorinated chemicals and polyfluorinated chemicals are analyzed using established analytical methods or in some cases, a modified standard method or a product-specific test method.  Some of the methods commonly used are:

    • US EPA Method 537.1, Determination of Selected Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
    • ISO 25101, Determination of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) - - Method for unfiltered samples using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry
    • ASTM D7968, Standard Test Method for Determination of Poyfluorinated Compounds in Soil by Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
    • ASTM D7979, Standard Test Method for Determination of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Water, Sludge, Influent, Effluent and Wastewater by Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)
    • ASTM F2931, Standard Guide for Analytical Testing of Substances of Very High Concern in Materials and Products

    In all cases, the data sets for the PFOA, PFOS, PFAA, PFAS, and PFC are obtained using our high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) liquid chromatograph tandem mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS).

    Contact us to determine your specific PFAS, PFOA, PFOS testing needs and associated sample considerations.

  • Experience and Related Services

    PFOA, PFOS, PFAA, PFAS, and PFC analysis is applied to raw materials, industrial products, consumer goods, medical devices, and pharmaceutical products.  The synthetic organic chemicals are removed from polymer, plastic, and rubber materials using exhaustive extraction methodologies with which SGS PSI is highly experienced.  This is the same approach that is taken to perform cGMP compliant extractables studied for FDA-regulated medical devices, additives analysis of polymer materials, and contamination analysis of a variety of products.


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